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Phenytoin Description

Phenytoin Description

Generic Name : PHENYTOIN

Pronunciation : (fen' i toe in)

Trade Name(s) : Epsolin

Why it is prescribed: Phenytoin acts on the brain and nervous system. It is used alone or with other drugs to control various types of convulsions and seizures. It is also used to control arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and to treat migraine headaches and facial nerve pain.

When it is to be taken: Phenytoin usually is taken two or three times a day. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand.

How it should be taken:
1. Phenytoin comes in the form of long acting and prompt capsules, chewable tablets, and suspension.
2. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose.
3. Shake the suspension bottle well before each use.
4. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon to be sure of an accurate dose.

Special Instruction :
1. Phenytoin can cause dizziness, incoordination, blurred or double vision, and drowsiness. Do not drive a car, operate dangerous machinery, or do anything that requires alertness until you know how this drug affects you.
2. Keep all appointments with your doctor so that your doctor can monitor your response to this drug.
3. Your dose may need to be adjusted frequently, especially when you first take phenytoin.
4. Take phenytoin exactly as your doctor has directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more or less often than as instructed.
5. Do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor. Stopping the drug abruptly can cause seizures. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually.
6. Contact your doctor if you continue to have seizures or convulsions while taking this medication.
7. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. However, if you remember a missed dose at the time you are scheduled to take the next dose, omit the missed dose completely. Do not take a double dose.

Side Effects :
1. Redness, irritation, bleeding, and swelling of the gums. Brush your teeth, massage your gums, and see your dentist for checkups regularly. Contact your doctor if these effects are severe.
2. Nausea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, loss of taste and appetite, weight loss, difficulty swallowing. Take the medication with food or a lot of water. If these problems persist, contact your doctor.
3. Drowsiness, tiredness, dizziness, incoordination, mental confusion, blurred or double vision, insomnia, nervousness, muscle twitching, headache, increased hair growth. Contact your doctor if these effects are severe or persist.
4. Skin rash, easy bruising, tiny purple-colored skin spots, bloody nose, slurred speech, unusual bleeding, yellowing of skin and eyes and dark urine, swollen glands, fever, sore throat. Contact your doctor immediately.

Other Precautions :
1. Before you take phenytoin, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think that you may be pregnant or breast-feeding, if you have diabetes or kidney or liver disease, or if you ever had a bad reaction to ethotoin, mephenytoin, or phenacemide.
2. Phenytoin can affect the action of other drugs, and many drugs can affect the action of phenytoin.
3. Before you take this drug, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, especially other seizure medication, anticoagulants, medication for depression, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, and birth-control pills.
4. Phenytoin can decrease the effectiveness of birth-control pills; use another method of birth control.
5. Use caution when drinking alcoholic beverages or taking over-the-counter sleeping pills or antihistamines; these substances can add to the drowsiness caused by phenytoin.
6. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.

Storage Conditions : Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store it at room temperatu

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