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Phenytoin

phenytoin

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By Medicover Hospitals / 16 Feb 2021
Home | Medicine | Phenytoin
  • Phenytoin is a prescriptive drug. It is available in three oral forms: extended-release capsule, chewable tablet, and suspension. It also comes as an injectable medicine given by a health care provider. Phenytoin oral capsules are available as brand-name drugs Phenytek and Dilantin. It is also available as a generic drug. It works by slowing down the brain impulses that cause seizures. The medication is used for the control of seizures. It does not treat all types of seizures, and your doctor will determine if this is the right medicine for you.
    1. Phenytoin Uses
    2. Phenytoin Side effects
    3. Precautions
    4. Dosage
    5. Storage
    6. Phenytoin vs Fosphenytoin
    7. FAQ's

    Phenytoin Uses:

  • Phenytoin is being used to control certain types of seizures and to prevent and treat seizures that may begin during and after brain or nervous system surgery. Phenytoin is in a class of drugs called anticonvulsants. It works by reducing the abnormal electrical activity of the brain. The medication is also used for treating various types of irregular heartbeats.
  • Phenytoin Side effects:

  • Most common side effects of Phenytoin are:
    • Difficulty in falling asleep
    • Abnormal body movements
    • Loss of coordination
    • Slurred speech
    • Headache
    • Constipation
    • Unwanted hair growth
    • Overgrowth of gums
  • Some of the serious side effects of Phenytoin are:
    • Swollen glands
    • Blisters
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Yellow of the skin or eyes
    • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
    • Excessive tiredness
    • Unusual bruising or bleeding
    • Loss of appetite
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Dizziness
    • Shortness of breath
  • If you have any of these serious symptoms immediately contact your doctor for further assistance. In any case, due to Phenytoin if you get any kind of reactions in your body try avoiding it.
  • A doctor advised you to take the medicines by seeing your problems and the benefits of this medicine are greater than the side effects. Majority of the people who use this medicine don’t show any side effects. Get medical help immediately if you get any serious Phenytoin side effects.
  • Precautions:

  • Before taking Phenytoin talk with your doctor if you are allergic to it or any other medications. The product may contain some inactive ingredients which can cause certain allergic reactions or some other serious problems.
  • Before taking Phenytoin talk with your doctor if you are having any medical history such as:
    • Certain blood disorders
    • Diabetes
    • Liver diseases
    • Lupus
    • Folate or Vitamin B-12 deficiency

    How to take Phenytoin?

  • Phenytoin comes as an extended-release (long-acting) capsule, a chewable tablet, and a suspension (liquid) to be taken by mouth. The chewable tablet and suspension is usually taken two or three times a day. Extended-release capsules are usually taken one to four times daily. The doctor will order you at a low dose of phenytoin and gradually increase your dose, not more often than once every 7 to 10 days. Different phenytoin products are absorbed by the body in different ways and cannot be substituted for each other. If you need to switch from one phenytoin to another, your doctor may need to adjust your dose.
  • Dosage

  • Generic: Phenytoin
    • Form: oral capsule, extended-release
    • Strengths: 100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg
  • Brand: Dilantin
    • Form: oral capsule, extended-release
    • Strengths: Phenytek
  • Form: oral capsule, extended-release
  • Strengths: 200 mg, 300 mg
  • Dosages for Seizures
  • Extended-release capsule: 100 mg capsules taken 3 times a day
  • Missed Dose:

  • Missing one or two-dose of Phenytoin won’t show any effect on your body. The skipped dose causes no problem. But with some medication, it won’t work if you don’t take the dosage on time. If you miss a dose some sudden chemical change may affect your body. In some cases, your doctor would advise you to take the prescribed medicine as soon as possible if you have missed the dose.
  • Overdose:

  • Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have taken more than the prescribed Phenytoin tablets there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.
  • Warnings for some Serious Health Conditions

  • For people with Liver Problems:
  • This medicine is used to treat your liver. If your liver is not working well, more drugs may stay longer in your body. This puts you at risk of toxicity and side effects.
  • For people with Diabetes:
  • Phenytoin tablets can increase blood sugar levels.
  • For people with Kidney Problems:
  • If the patients are having some serious kidney diseases then the dosage needs to be adjusted accordingly.
  • For people with Thyroid Disease:
  • The drug will affect thyroid hormone levels. Talk with your doctor about the thyroid problems before taking the drug.
  • Storage:

  • Direct contact with heat, air and light may damage your medicines. The exposure of medicine may cause some harmful effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach.
  • Mainly the drug should be kept at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).
  • Before taking Phenytoin consult your Doctor. In case if you face any problems or get any side effects after taking Phenytoin rush immediately to your nearby hospital or consult your doctor for better treatment. Carry your medications always in your bag while travelling to avoid any immediate emergencies. Follow your prescription and follow your Doctor advice whenever you take Phenytoin.
  • Phenytoin vs Fosphenytoin

    Phenytoin
    Fosphenytoin
    Phenytoin is a prescriptive drug. It is available in three oral forms: extended-release capsule, chewable tablet, and suspension. It also comes as an injectable medicine given by a health care provider. Fosphenytoin is a water-soluble phenytoin prodrug only used in hospitals to treat epileptic seizures. It works by slowing down the brain impulses that cause seizures.
    Phenytoin is being used to control certain types of seizures and to prevent and treat seizures that may begin during and after brain or nervous system surgery. Fosphenytoin main mechanism is to block the frequency-dependent, use-dependent and voltage-dependent neuronal sodium channels and thus to limit repetitive action potentials. It is used for the treatment of Epilepsy/ Seizures.
    Most common side effects of Phenytoin are:
    • -Difficulty in falling asleep
    • -Abnormal body movements
    • -Loss of coordination
    • -Slurred speech
    • -Headache
    Most common side effects of Fosphenytoin are:
    • -Rash
    • -Headache
    • -Dizziness
    • -Vomiting
    • -Nausea

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Phenytoin is being used to control certain types of seizures and to prevent and treat seizures that may begin during or after a brain or nervous system surgery. Phenytoin is in a class of drugs called anticonvulsants.
    Headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, spinning, somnolence, difficulty sleeping, or nervousness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, talk to your doctor or pharmacist forthwith. Phenytoin may cause gum swelling and bleeding.
    Phenytoin works by slowing down the impulses in the brain which will cause seizures. The medications used to control seizures.
    Liver injury caused by phenytoin appears to be caused by a hypersensitivity reaction and resembles cases of immune allergic hepatotoxicity.
    When taken orally, Dilantin has a plasma half-life of 22 hours and peaks 4 to 12 hours after ingestion.
    Phenytoin toxicity may result from an increase in the daily dose of phenytoin, changes in formulations or brands, as well as changes in the frequency of administration.
    Phenytoin may also cause a decrease in blood pressure due to peripheral vasodilatation and negative inotropic effects It is known that propylene glycol found in phenytoin preparations to increase water solubility may also cause bradycardia and asystole in toxic doses.
    With food or milk, you can offer phenytoin, but be consistent. Still, give or always give phenytoin on an empty stomach with food or milk. Encourage your child not to swallow them whole if your child takes chewable tablets.

    Citations:

  • Phenytoin, https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00003088-197904030-00001
  • Effects of Phenytoin,https://link.springer.com/article/10.1385/NCC:3:2:161