This information is given as an indication of the most common reasons for prescribing the medication. The list of side effects is not exhaustive and you should refer to your doctor for a more complete information. Never alter your treatment on the basis of what is written here or without your doctor's knowledge.
Phenytoin (Dilantin) is used in the treatment of both generalized and partial seizures.
It is available as an injectable medication and is used in the treatment of status epilepticus as an Intravenous drug. The liquid preparation may form deposition of the drug at the bottom of the bottle and vigorous shaking of the bottle prior to each dose is recommended. the absorption of phenytoin in young children is highly unpredictable and this drug is not frequently used in this age group.
Phenytoin is one of the oldest drugs used in the treatment of epilepsy and it has many adverse side-effects. It interferes with cognitive function more than most other AED's (except may be phenobarbital). Frequent side effects include: nystagmus (rhythmical movement of the eyes), drowsiness, ataxia (unsteady gait), and diplopia are relatively frequent. Severe rashes can occur; the drug should then be stopped immediately. Long term gum hyperplasia, coarse facial features and hirsutism are almost universal. Other side effect such as Lupus like syndrome, liver granulomas, (exceptionally liver failure) lymphoma like condition, nephritis, peripheral neuropathy, anemia, Vitamin D metabolism changes and even rickets, folate deficiency and many other side effects make this drug less in vogue. particularly in children when the learning abilities are so important to preserve.