What is Dilantin?

Dilantin (phenytoin) is an anti-epileptic medication used to control seizures. Dilantin is also used to treat trigeminal neuralgia (a condition that causes facial pain). Dilantin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Dilantin

Health Benefits

Dilantin can help to control seizures by binding to a specific site in the brain, which helps to stabilize electrical activity in the brain. This action then leads to a decrease in the number of seizure episodes.

In addition to its seizure-reducing properties, Dilantin has also been shown to be effective at reducing the pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia. This condition is characterized by sharp, stabbing pains in the face that can be triggered by things like brushing your teeth or eating.

Side Effects and Precautions

The most common side effects of Dilantin include:

-Drowsiness

-Headache

-Nausea

-Vomiting

-Diarrhea

-Constipation

-Blurred vision

-Dizziness

-Rash

These side effects are typically mild and should resolve on their own. If they persist or become bothersome, speak to your doctor.

More serious side effects of Dilantin include:

-Yellowing of the skin or eyes

-Unusual bleeding or bruising

-Fever

-Sore throat

-Difficulty breathing or swallowing

-Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. These could be signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Dilantin can also cause problems with your liver, so your doctor will likely order blood tests to check your liver function while you are taking this medication.

Dilantin can also cause birth defects, so it is important to speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant while taking this medication.

This medication may also make you drowsy, so avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how Dilantin affects you.

You should also avoid drinking alcohol while taking Dilantin, as it can increase the severity of side effects.

Dosage and Administration

Dilantin is available as an oral capsule, suspension, or extended-release capsule. It is typically taken two or three times per day. The capsules should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed or chewed.

The suspension should be taken with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. It should be well shaken before each use.

Extended-release capsules should be taken once a day, with or without food.

If you miss a dose of Dilantin, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Interactions

Dilantin can interact with a number of other medications, so it is important to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before starting this medication.

Some of the drugs that Dilantin can interact with include:

-Antacids

-Calcium channel blockers

-Oral contraceptives

-HIV medications

-Rifampin

This is not a complete list of Dilantin interactions. Be sure to speak to your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, before starting Dilantin.

Mechanism of Action

Dilantin works by binding to a specific site in the brain, which helps to stabilize electrical activity in the brain. This action then leads to a decrease in the number of seizure episodes.

In addition to its seizure-reducing properties, Dilantin has also been shown to be effective at reducing the pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia. This condition is characterized by sharp, stabbing pains in the face that can be triggered by things like brushing your teeth or eating.

Dilantin may also work by other mechanisms not yet fully understood. Further research is needed to better understand how this medication works.

Pharmacokinetics

Dilantin is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. It reaches peak levels in the blood within 1 to 2 hours of taking a dose.

The half-life of Dilantin is variable and can range from 6 to 12 hours. This means that it takes 6 to 12 hours for the level of Dilantin in your blood to be reduced by half.

Dilantin is metabolized in the liver and excreted in the urine. Because of this, people with liver problems may need to have their dosage adjusted.

People with kidney problems may also need a lower dosage of Dilantin, as the medication is excreted in the urine.

Alternatives to Dilantin

There are a number of other medications that can be used to treat seizures. Some of these include:

-Phenobarbital

-Valproic acid

-Gabapentin

These medications may be used alone or in combination with other seizure medications. The best treatment plan depends on the individual and the severity of their condition.

Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment option for your individual needs.