Dilantin (phenytoin) is a prescription drug. It is an anti-epileptic drug that is also called an anticonvulsant. This medicine works by slowing down the impulses in the brain that can lead to seizures.
Dilantin, in other words, is used in controlling seizures. However, this medicine does not help in treating all types of seizures, and only your doctor who is aware of your history can let you know if this medicine is right for you.
How It Works
Phenytoin is a part of a drug group known as antiepileptic drugs or AEDs. A drug group is a group of medication that can work similarly and are often used in treating similar medical conditions.
Phenytoin, in turn, works by not allowing the seizure activity to spread inside the brain. This medication also helps by controlling the neurons inside the brain and not allowing them to become active. When these neurons are not active, this reduces the number of seizures you have.
- A headache
- Feeling of spinning
- Trouble sleeping
Phenytoin may also lead to bleeding and swelling of gums and in cases like this, massage your gums and brush your teeth to reduce this problem and get rid of it.
- Unusual eye movement
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Twitching of muscles
- Blurred vision
- Facial changes
- Excessive growth of hair
For males, it is possible that they may experience a painful and prolonged erection that might last for hours; if this occurs then stop using this drug and seek medical help.
Dilantin medication may contain some inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions as well.
Before using this drug, let your doctor know about your medical history, especially if you have abused alcohol in the past, or had blood conditions, liver disease, diabetes, lupus, vitamin B-12 deficiency, or folate.
This medication may even make you drowsy and dizzy, so avoid alcohol and marijuana after using this drug and do not use machinery, drive, or do any activity that requires you to stay alert.
Limit the consumption of alcohol when using this drug as this may have a direct effect on your blood level.
If you have diabetes, then this drug may increase the sugar level in your blood so check it regularly, and in case of any abnormal results; let your doctor know.
With this medicine, you may need to take Vitamin D supplements as this will keep your bones strong and prevent it from weakening.
During pregnancy, use this drug if absolutely necessary as it may harm your unborn baby.
Untreated seizures can also be very dangerous and might be fatal for pregnant women and babies, so do not stop taking Dilantin unless told by your doctor otherwise.
If you are trying to conceive, talk to your doctor about the risk and benefits this drug has.
Also, birth control pill, implants, and patches may not work with this medication so do discuss dependable forms of birth control with your doctor.
Phenytoin can pass into your breast milk so make sure you talk to your doctor before you breastfeed.
Drugs for the heart
Drugs for cholesterol
Antibiotics and cancer drugs
How to take Dilantin
If you miss a dose, then you can increase the risk of having seizures, so it is advised that you take this medication at the same time every day; this way you’ll remember to take it.
Do not overdose on this drug as it has some very dangerous symptoms on overdosing such as tremor, slurred speech, overactive reflexes, and lack of energy, vomiting, nausea, and blurred vision. You can also end up in a coma due to increased dosage.