What is Phenytoin?

The Phenytoin is a medication for seizures. It works by blocking abnormal electrical activities in the brain.

What is phenytoin used for?

Phenytoin is used to control certain types of convulsions and to treat and prevent those that may begin during or after brain or nervous system surgery.

It also finds application in the treatment of irregular heartbeat.

How is phenytoin taken?

Phenytoin is administered orally in the form of prolonged-release capsules (to be taken strictly intact), chewable tablets (which can also be swallowed whole) or liquid suspensions.

Typically, chewable tablets and suspensions should be taken 2-3 times a day, while prolonged-release capsules 1 to 4 times a day.

Your doctor may prescribe a low starting dose and then gradually increase it.

Side effects of phenytoin

Phenytoin can increase blood sugar levels. Its possible side effects also include:

  • insomnia
  • uncontrollable eye movements
  • abnormal body movements
  • loss of coordination
  • confusion
  • slowed reasoning skills
  • confused speech
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • He retched
  • constipation
  • increase in unwanted hair
  • hardening of the features
  • enlarged lips
  • gum growth
  • pain or sagging of the penis

It is good to contact your doctor immediately in case of:

  • temperature
  • wounds
  • skin rash
  • articolar pains
  • yellowish discolouration of the skin
  • pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
  • excessive tiredness
  • bleeding or bruising
  • loss of appetite
  • flu-like symptoms

Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of phenytoin

Phenytoin can impair driving skills and operate dangerous machinery.

Before taking it, you should inform your doctor:

  • of allergies to the active substance or to any other medication, especially those based on the active ingredients of the same class as the ethotoin and Fosphenytoin, or carbamazepine
  • of the medicines, phytotherapy and supplements taken, remembering to mention amiodarone, anticoagulants, antidepressants, chloramphenicol, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, digoxin, disulfiram, doxycycline, fluoxetine, furosemide, H2 antagonist drugs, hormonal contraceptives, hormonal hormone replacement therapy, hormonal contraceptive nausea medications, other anticonvulsants, molindone, steroids (when taken orally), paroxetine, quinidine, reserpine, rifampin, salicylates, sucralfate, antibiotics, theophylline, ticlopidine, tolbutamide, trazodone, vitamin D and calcium-based antacids
  • if you suffer (or have suffered) from kidney or liver disease, diabetes, porphyria or if you are (or have been) alcoholics
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

It is good to inform surgeons and dentists about taking Phenytoin.

It is also good to ask the doctor how to take care of teeth and gums during treatment, in order to limit their side effects.

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