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What is Dilantin (Phenytoin) prescribed for?

A seizure happens because of an abnormal amount of electrical activity in the brain. Sometimes it may go unnoticed. Other times in more severe cases if may cause unconsciousness and convulsions, when your body shakes uncontrollably. Seizures can happen suddenly, and they vary with how long and severe they can be.

Phenytoin, the active ingredient within Dilantin, is a medication used to prevent and control seizures. This medication is also known as an anticonvulsant or an antiepileptic, and it works by reducing the spread of the seizure activity in the brain.

This medication comes in a singular strength of 100mg. Remember your dose is based on your medical background and your overall response to the treatment. If your doctor or pharmacist has given you some information in the form of a pamphlet, take the time to read up on this drug, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, please consult your doctor.

This medication is to be taken by mouth, once a day, or in divided doses as directed by your doctor. You may take this medicine with food, if an upset stomach occurs. Also take this medication with a full glass of water, unless told to do otherwise by your doctor.

Make sure to swallow the capsules whole. Do not use the capsules if they are discolored.

You must use this medication regularly to gain the most benefit from it.  It is important to take all of the dosage given to you, on time, to keep the amount of medicine in your body at the same level.


Before taking this medication, inform your doctor if you are allergic to Phenytoin; or to other anti-seizure medications (such as carbamazepine, ethosuximide, ethotoin, fosphenytoin, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, primidone, trimethadione); or if you have any other allergies in general.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: alcohol use, certain blood conditions (porphyria), diabetes, liver disease (including liver disease caused by past phenytoin use), lupus, folate or vitamin B-12 deficiency (megaloblastic anemia).

Side Effects

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

There is some serious side effects to this medication, and if you are encountering any of them, notify your doctor right away. These side effects are listed below; slow heartbeat, unusual eye movements, loss of coordination, slurred speech, confusion, muscle twitching, double or blurred vision, tingling of the hands/feet, facial changes (e.g., swollen lips, butterfly-shaped rash around the nose/cheeks), excessive hair growth, increased thirst or urination, unusual tiredness, bone or joint pain, easily broken bones.

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: uncontrolled muscle movements, signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), easy bruising/bleeding.


What is Dilantin?

This medication is used to prevent and control seizures, which is an abnormal electrical activity that happens in the brain, which causes unconsciousness and convulsions. And seizures can happen suddenly, without any warning. Dilantin, when taken, works by reducing the spread of the seizure activity in the brain. This medication only comes in the singular dose of 100mg. If you have any questions regarding this medication or any inquiries in general, feel free to give us a call at 1-877-385-8998.


How often should Dilantin levels be checked?

Depending on the patients current state Dilantin levels are usually monitored at 3 to 12 month intervals.


What are the side effects of Dilantin?

Some of the most common side effects for Dilantin are as follows; Headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, feeling of spinning, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or feelings of nervousness. Keep in mind that these are not all of the side effects listed for this medication. If these do persist or worsen, you should speak with your doctor as soon as possible.


What type of drug is Dilantin?

Diltantin is an anti-epileptic drug, which is also called an anticonvulsant. It is used to control seizures. However, it does not treat all types of seizures, so it is best to speak with your doctor to determine if this is the correct medication for you.


What is the correct therapeutic serum range for Dilantin?

The therapeutic serum drug level for phenytoin (Dilantin) is 10 to 20 mcg/mL. Although, about half of seizures are controlled at values lower and higher then what is the therapeutic serum drug level.


What is the generic name for Dilantin?

The generic name of Dilantin is known as Phenytoin.


Who makes Dilantin?

Dilantin is made by Parke-Davis, who are a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Although no longer independent, Parke-Davis was once America’s oldest and largest drug maker.


How to take Dilantin?

This medication is taken orally and usually once a day. However, your doctor may suggest that you take it in divided doses.  Take this medication with a full glass of water, and you may take it with food if it causes you an upset stomach.  Be sure to swallow the capsule whole, do not crush or chew it, and do not use if the capsule has become discoloured.


How much does Dilantin cost?

Dilantin is listed on Tier 2 of Medicare’s formulary. Tier 2 means that this medication is what is known as a “non-preferred generic”. Meaning it is a moderately priced medication, and Medicare does cover some of the cost for Dilantin.  However, you may find a more affordable option if you were to buy this medication on an online Canadian Pharmacy such as My Drug Center. We have a starting price of $35.00 for 100 pills.

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