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Dilantin

What is Dilantin

Dilantin is an anti-epileptic. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures.

Dilantin is used to control seizures.

Dilantin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Dilantin

Do not stop taking Dilantin even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking the medication to prevent seizures from recurring.

Do not change brands of phenytoin without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Some brands of phenytoin are interchangeable while others are not. Your doctor and/or pharmacist know which brand/generic formulations may be substituted for another.

Do not crush, chew, or break the capsules. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release the drug slowly into the body.

Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.

What you should find out before taking Dilantin

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have, or ever have had, liver disease. You may not be able to take Dilantin, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment.

Dilantin may increase blood sugar. If you are a diabetic and are taking Dilantin, watch for changes in blood sugar levels that may be caused by this medication.

Dilantin is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Dilantin will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take Dilantin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Dilantin passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Do not take Dilantin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should take Dilantin

Take Dilantin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose of Dilantin with a full glass of water.

Take Dilantin with food to lessen stomach upset.

Do not crush, chew, or break the capsules. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release the drug slowly into the body.

Chew the chewable tablets thoroughly or break them into small pieces before swallowing.

Shake the liquid form of Dilantin well before use. To ensure that you measure a correct dose, measure the suspension with a special dose-measuring spoon or a cup, not with a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Do not take any capsule, tablet, or suspension that is discolored.

Do not change brands of phenytoin without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Some brands of phenytoin are interchangeable while others are not. Your doctor and/or pharmacist know which brand/generic formulations may be substituted for another.

It is important to take Dilantin regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not stop taking Dilantin even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking the medication to prevent seizures from recurring.

Your doctor may want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with Dilantin to monitor progress and side effects.

Brush and floss your teeth as directed to reduce the risk of gum disease while taking Dilantin.

Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.

Store Dilantin at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical treatment if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a Dilantin overdose include back-and-forth eye movements, slurred speech, stumbling or staggering walk, imbalance, drowsiness, unconsciousness, nausea, vomiting, tremor, low blood pressure, and slow breathing.

Avoid while taking Dilantin

Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. Alcohol can cause deep sedation or sleepiness. It may also increase the risk of seizures.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Dilantin may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Brush and floss your teeth as directed to reduce the risk of gum disease while taking Dilantin.

Possible side effects of Dilantin

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Dilantin and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- hallucinations;
- slurred speech or staggering walk;
- a rash;
- changes in vision;
- agitation;
- low blood pressure;
- slow or irregular heartbeats;
- abdominal pain, dark urine, light colored stools, or jaundice (yellow skin or eyes);
- easy bruising or bleeding; or
- swollen or tender gums.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Dilantin and talk to your doctor if you experience
- nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea;
- mild dizziness or drowsiness;
- tender or swollen glands;
- swollen or painful gums;
- headache;
- muscle twitches;
- increased facial hair;
- swelling of breasts, or
- insomnia.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Dilantin

The following drugs can increase the level of Dilantin in the blood which may cause dangerous side effects:
- alcohol (with occasional use);
- other seizure medicines such as ethosuximide (Zarontin) or methsuximide (Celontin Kapseals);
- the stomach medicines cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB) or ranitidine (Zantac, Zantac 75);
- the anxiety and insomnia medicines chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Librax) and diazepam (Valium);
- estrogens such as conjugated estrogens (Premarin, Premphase, Prempro), estradiol (Estrace), esterified estrogens (Estratab, Menest), estropipate (Ogen), and estrogen patches (Estraderm, Vivelle, Climara);
- the heart medicine amiodarone (Cordarone);
- salicylates such as aspirin, magnesium salicylate (Magan), choline salicylate (Arthropan), and choline and magnesium salicylate (Trilisate);
- anti-infective medicines such as isoniazid (Nydrazid) and sulfonamides such as sulfamethoxazole (Septra, Bactrim);
- methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Methylin);
- tolbutamide;
- trazodone (Desyrel); and
- disulfiram (Antabuse).

Other drugs may decrease the amount of Dilantin in the blood. This can decrease the effects of Dilantin and result in seizures. The following drugs may have this effect:
- alcohol (when used regularly);
- carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol, Carbatrol);
- reserpine;
- sucralfate (Carafate); and
- molindone (Moban).

Other seizure medicines may interact unpredictably with Dilantin and either increase or decrease its effects. These drugs include
- valproic acid (Depakene) and divalproex sodium (Depakote); and
- phenobarbital (Luminal).

It may be necessary for your doctor to adjust your Dilantin dosage if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Dilantin may also decrease the activity of other medicines, including
- steroid medicines such as prednisone (Deltasone), hydrocortisone (Cortef), betamethasone (Celestone), dexamethasone (Decadron), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and others;
- warfarin (Coumadin);
- quinidine (Quinidex, Quinaglute, others);
- birth control pills;
- estrogens such as Premarin, Ogen, Menest, Estratest, Estraderm, Vivelle, Climara, and others;
- the anti-infective medicines rifampin (Rimactane, Rifadin) and doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin, Doxy, Monodox, Adoxa, others);
- furosemide (Lasix); and
- theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theochron, Theo-Bid, Theolair, Aerolate, others).

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Dilantin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

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B
baclofen
bactrim bactroban baycol benadryl bextra biaxin boniva bontril buspar buspirone
C
caduet campral camptosar capoten captopril cardizem cardura carisoprodol casodex catapress cefzil celebrex celexa cellcept cephalexin cialis cipro ciprodex clarinex claritin climara clindamycin clonazepam clonidine codeine codeprex combivent combivir concerta copaxone coreg coricidin cotrim coumadin cozaar crestor cubicin cyclobenzaprine cymbalta
D
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F
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G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
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N
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O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
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R
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S
sanctura seasonale sensipar serevent seroquel serzone singulair skelaxin soma somavert sonata spiriva spironolactone strattera striant sustiva synagis synthroid 
T
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U
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V
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W
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X
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Y
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Z
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