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Dilantin (Phenytoin Sodium)
Product of Canada - Manufactured by Pfizer Inc
Product of New Zealand - Manufactured by Pfizer Inc
US Brand Names
- Dilantin Infatabs
Dilantin (Phenytoin) is an anticonvulsant medication. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures.
Dilantin (Phenytoin) is used to control seizures. Dilantin (Phenytoin) does not treat all types of seizures, and your doctor will determine if it is the right medicine for you.
Dilantin (Phenytoin) may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use exactly as directed by your healthcare provider.
Swallow an extended-release capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.
Dilantin (Phenytoin) capsules are usually taken one to four times a day.
Dilantin (Phenytoin) suspension and chewable tablets are typically taken two or three times a day.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringes provided, or use a dosage measuring device; not a kitchen spoon.
You can chew or swallow the chewable tablets.
You may need frequent blood tests. You may also need a blood test when switching from one form of Dilantin (Phenytoin) to another. Visit your doctor regularly.
Tell your doctor if Dilantin (Phenytoin) does not seem to work as well in controlling your seizures. Do not stop using Dilantin (Phenytoin) suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures. Follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose.
In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you have seizures.
Dilantin (Phenytoin) can cause swelling in your gums. Brush and floss your teeth and visit your dentist regularly to help prevent this problem.
If you miss a dose, take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Store at room temperature; away from moisture, heat, and light.
You should not use Dilantin (Phenytoin) if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever had:
- liver problems caused by Dilantin (Phenytoin);
- an allergy to similar medicines such as ethotoin, fosDilantin , mephenytoin; or
- if you currently take Delavirdine (Rescriptor).
Dilantin may harm an unborn baby. However, having a seizure during pregnancy could also harm the unborn baby and mother.
You shouldn’t start taking Dilantin if you are pregnant unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you become pregnant while taking Dilantin, don’t stop taking the drug without first talking to your doctor.
Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking Dilantin (Phenytoin). Alcohol use can increase your blood levels of Dilantin (Phenytoin) and may increase side effects. Daily alcohol use can decrease your blood levels of Dilantin (Phenytoin), which can increase your risk of seizures.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using over-the-counter medicines such as omeprazole, St. John’s wort, or vitamins and mineral supplements that contain folic acid.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Avoid taking antacids at the same time you take Dilantin (Phenytoin). Antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb the medication.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver disease;
- suicidal thoughts or actions;
- a vitamin D deficiency or any other condition that causes thinning of the bones;
- porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system); or
- if you are of Asian ancestry (you may need a special blood test to determine your risk for having a skin reaction to Dilantin (Phenytoin)).
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Dilantin (Phenytoin). Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Tell your doctor you are taking Dilantin before having any kind of surgery, including dental procedures.
If you have taken Dilantin (Phenytoin) during pregnancy, be sure to tell the doctor who delivers your baby about your Dilantin (Phenytoin) use. Both you and the baby may need to receive medications to prevent excessive bleeding during delivery and just after birth.
Dilantin (Phenytoin) can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy.
It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
- fever, chills, sore throat, swollen glands;
- red or swollen gums, mouth sores;
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin; or
- liver problems–loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
- drowsiness, confusion;
- nausea, vomiting, or constipation;
- slurred speech;
- uncontrolled or abnormal eye movement; or
- problems with balance or muscle movement.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- digoxin (Lanoxin),
- carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol XR, Equetro, Carbatrol),
- clonazepam (Klonopin),
- corticosteroids (for example, prednisone),
- oral contraceptives,
- paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva),
- tacrolimus (Prograf),
- valproic acid (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor), and
- warfarin (Coumadin).
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect this medication, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Seek emergency medical attention
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