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Phenytoin - Oral - Patient Medicine Information

> Why do I need this medicine?
> How do I take this medicine?
> What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
> When should I not use this medicine?
> What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
> What side effects could I experience?
> Can I take this with other medicines?
> What special dietary instructions should I follow?
> How should I store this medicine?

 
Available Brands

Other Known Brands
  • Ditoin    

Why do I need this medicine?

Phenytoin is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat epilepsy (also known as fits or seizures).

It may be used to prevent or treat seizures during or after certain brain surgeries.

Phenytoin is also used to relieve pain in a painful nerve condition that affects the face called trigeminal neuralgia.

How do I take this medicine?

Take Phenytoin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

Take Phenytoin with food to lessen gastric irritation. Try to take it at the same time each day.

If you are taking the capsule or tablet, swallow it whole with a glass of water. Do not open, chew or crush it.

If you are taking the syrup, shake the bottle well before taking your dose. Use the dropper provided to measure out your dose of Phenytoin.

Do not switch between different brands or dosage forms (for example, a capsule, tablet or syrup) unless advised by your doctor.

If you are on nasogastric feeding or enteral feeds, take your dose of Phenytoin at least 2 hours before or after feeds. Always flush the tubing with water after each dose of Phenytoin to ensure that the full dose is taken.

Phenytoin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Phenytoin even when you feel better. Phenytoin is not a cure and you may need to take it long-term to keep your seizures under control. Do not stop taking Phenytoin unless instructed otherwise as stopping it suddenly may worsen your condition.

What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.

When should I not use this medicine?

Alert your doctor if you have heart disease such as irregular heartbeat or if you ever had an allergic reaction to Phenytoin or similar medicines as Phenytoin may not be suitable for you.

What should I take note of while taking this medicine?

Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • blood disorders
  • diabetes
  • osteoporosis or any bone development problems
  • porphyria (an inherited disorder that may cause skin or nerve problems)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Discuss the use of appropriate birth control methods with your doctor while being treated with Phenytoin.

If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are being treated with Phenytoin.

Some genetic traits (HLA-B*15:02) can cause serious skin reactions (e.g. potentially life-threatening skin rashes) from this medicine. Although not routinely done, your doctor may advise you to take genetic testing to check if this medicine is best suited for you.

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition. Routine blood tests may be done to check your body’s response to Phenytoin. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests done.

What side effects could I experience?

Phenytoin may cause dizziness, tiredness or drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.

Phenytoin may also cause swelling and soreness of the gums, especially in children. To minimise gum swelling, observe good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth.

Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, problems sleeping, double or blurred vision, headache, unusual eye movements and uncoordinated movements. These side effects are common especially when you have just started taking Phenytoin.

Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
  • rashes, with or without skin peeling or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
  • swelling of the eyes, face or lips or breathing difficulties
  • mouth ulcers or persistent fever or sore throat
  • extensive or unusual bleeding or bruising
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes with abdominal pain or persistent tiredness, nausea or vomiting
  • confusion or hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
  • unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed or agitated, or having thoughts of self-harm)
  • swollen glands or pain in the joints
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.

Can I take this with other medicines?

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • medicines for sleep disorder or anxiety e.g. diazepam, chlordiazepoxide
  • medicines for irregular heart beat e.g. amiodarone, quinidine
  • medicines to treat cancer e.g. fluorouracil
  • other medicines to treat epilepsy e.g. valproic acid, felbamate
  • gastric medicines e.g. cimetidine, omeprazole
  • tolbutamide (medicine for diabetes)
  • medicine for pain and inflammation e.g. phenylbutazone
  • blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
  • medicines to treat asthma e.g. theophylline
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) e.g. etonogestrel, levonorgestrel
  • medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole
  • antibiotics e.g. chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin
  • medicines to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. isoniazid, rifampicin
  • medicine used to treat alcoholism e.g. disulfiram
  • supplements such as St John's wort
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Phenytoin.

As Phenytoin may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills, ask your doctor about the use of additional birth control methods.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Avoid alcohol.

How should I store this medicine?

Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.

This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Phenytoin - Oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2019 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com

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