(CNBNewsnet)(May 22, 2018)--Dilantin Phenytoin is a prescription-only Hydantoin anticonvulsant. The FDA approved drug controls epileptic convulsions by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. However, the drug controls only some types of seizures. For that reason, the doctor should review every patient independently to determine the suitability of this medicine. Users give it an above average rating.
The drug is prescribed for adults and children for management of neurosurgery, arrhythmias, and status epilepticus, in addition to management of seizures. It can be ingested, or administered through injection, or intravenously.
What You Should Avoid While on Dilantin Phenytoin Treatment
Some substances affect the effectiveness of Dilantin Phenytoin. Taking stomach acid reducers alongside this medicine inhibits the absorption of Dilantin, which increases the occurrence of seizures. Avoid alcohol also since it causes side effects by raising the blood levels of the drug in your bloodstream.
If alcohol consumption causes reduction of Phenytoin in your blood, it will cause the occurrence of seizures. Combining alcohol and this medication could impair your reactions and thinking leading to exposure to risks if you drive or engage in any activity that requires mental alertness.
Important Warnings While on Dilantin Phenytoin Medication
This drug comes with warnings for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Research shows that taking the drug during pregnancy exposes the fetus to congenital malformations. The mother then should receive information about such risks, but she should not discontinue its use if pregnancy occurs. That’s because resulting convulsions pose more risk to both mother and baby as compared to that posed by Phenytoin ingestion.
Its use is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers since its excretion into breast milk occurs. However, findings indicate that the amounts passed on to the infant are insignificant to cause side effects or hamper the development of the child.
Doctor’s Consultation before Starting Treatment with Dilantin Phenytoin
Although you need to undertake regular blood tests during treatment to monitor the levels of Phenytoin in your blood, you should consult your doctor if you have a history of health problems such as diabetes, liver, and cardiac problems.
You should disclose it to your physician if you suffer emotional issues like depression or feeling suicidal. Highlight any substance dependency such as alcoholism. Your doctor should prescribe tests to eliminate any underlying health conditions such as porphyria and thinning of the bone mass caused by vitamin D deficiency.
Take the drug only as directed by your physician and strictly adhere to the dosage schedule. You should not adjust the dose to a higher or lesser amount or stop taking the medication without your doctor’s approval.
If you miss a dose, take the missed dosage as soon as you realize it, but do not take any additional amount to make up for the missed dose if it is almost time for the next one. Beware that overdosing on Dilantin Phenytoin can cause fatalities.
In the event it happens, get emergency medical care. Toxicity caused by overdose causes symptoms, such as nausea, unconsciousness, muscle stiffness, tremors, eye twitching, shallow breathing, and impaired speech.
Possible Side Effects of Dilantin Phenytoin
Common side effects of the Dilantin use include insomnia, rash, loss of coordination and balance, body tremors, dizziness, confusion, and drowsiness. Some manifest as nausea, constipation, and vomiting. One may also suffer a headache and abnormal eye movement.
Look out for danger signs like difficulty in breathing, hives, swelling in the throat or face, fever, peeling and blistering of the skin, and sore throat while taking Phenytoin. Those are signs of an allergic reaction for which you should seek prompt medical help.
Beware though that some of the side effects might manifest several weeks after you start using Dilantin Phenytoin. For that, be vigilant to notice symptoms like swollen glands, muscle pains, yellowing of the eyes or skin or jaundice, skin rash, and flu-like symptoms. Other than the physical symptoms, report to your doctor behavior and mood changes like anxiety, aggression, restlessness, irritability, hyperactivity, feeling suicidal and depressed, and sleeplessness.
Seek emergency medical attention if you suspect you have developed liver problems. Liver malfunction is evident if you have upper stomach pain, jaundice, dark urine, loss of appetite, and clay-colored stools.
You should consult your health provider if you notice persistence or worsening of any of the above side effects as well as mouth sores, chills and fever, extreme muscle aches, easy bruising and bleeding, and bone pain.
Using Dilantin and other medicines simultaneously could make Phenytoin less effective or cause side effects. The effect arises from other drugs affecting the levels of Phenytoin in the blood. Inform your doctor of any over-the-counter, prescription, herbal products or supplements you use.
Before taking on a prescription for the medication, inform your doctor of other drugs you are using that may cause adverse effects. The medicines include antidepressants such as Zoloft, Paxil, Sinequan, and Eavil. Mention antibiotics you may be using like Cycloserine, Rifampin, Doxycycline, Sulfa drugs, Linezoid, and Isoniazid. Sedatives and aspirin or salicylates also cause harm. Be careful to point it out if you are on heart medications, such as Quinidine, Digoxin, Amiodarone, or Furosemide.
Other drugs that you should mention to your physician are seizure medications such as Carbatrol, Depakote, Equetro, and Solfoton. If you are on stomach acid reducers and steroids do update your physician before receiving the Phenytoin prescription.
Dilantin Phenytoin affects the effectiveness of birth control drugs. You should consult your doctor for alternative birth control methods, especially nonhormonal ones to avert the risk of pregnancy.
Due to the dangers of drug interaction with Dilantin Phenytoin, doctors advise patients on the drug to wear a tag or have an identity card to alert other medical providers of the situation.