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Dilantin Oral Precautions and Side Effects


IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

Table of Contents

Generic Name: PHENYTOIN EXTENDED CAPSULE - ORAL
Pronounced: (FEN-i-toyn)

Dilantin Oral Precautions

Before taking phenytoin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other anti-seizure medications (e.g., ethotoin, phenobarbital, ethosuximide, trimethadione); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • alcohol use
  • certain blood conditions (porphyria)
  • diabetes
  • liver disease
  • lupus
  • folate or vitamin B-12 deficiency (megaloblastic anemia)

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Alcohol may also affect your blood levels of this drug.

Tell your doctor you are using phenytoin prior to surgery or any procedure that makes you unable to take it by mouth.

If you have diabetes, this drug may increase your blood sugar levels. Check your blood (or urine) glucose level frequently, as directed by your doctor. Promptly report any abnormal results as directed. Your medicine, exercise plan, or diet may need to be adjusted.

Vitamin D supplements may be necessary to prevent weakening of the bones (osteomalacia). Discuss this with your doctor.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. However, since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy. Since birth control pills, patches, implants, and injections may not work if taken with this medication (see also Drug Interactions section), discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor.

Phenytoin passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Dilantin Oral Side Effects

Headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or nervousness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Phenytoin may cause swelling and bleeding of the gums. Massage your gums and brush and floss your teeth regularly to minimize this problem. See your dentist regularly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:



CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
Information last revised May 2011 Copyright(c) 2011 First DataBank, Inc.