Dilantin is an anti-epileptic drug and contains the active ingredient phenytoin sodium. It is available in the forms of a capsule, chewable tablet and an oral solution.
How It Works
Dilantin provides protection against epilepsy by blocking the functions of sodium channels that depend on high voltage. These sodium channels prevail in resting, open and inactive states. The dysfunction of these states is what is meant by blocking sodium channels. But, Dilantin works specifically by binding with the inactive state. By doing so, it is able to create an obstruction in voltage-dependent sodium channel actions. This total process affects the motor cortex where seizure activity is restrained. Phenytoin sodium averts hyper excitability caused by extreme stimulation of sodium.
Dilantin is a remedy for different types of seizures such as tonic-clonic seizures and partial seizures. However, it is not used to treat absence seizures.
Do not break open the capsule form of this drug, swallow it whole with a glass of water. The chewable tablet must be thoroughly chewed before swallowing it. Use a measuring cup or spoon when taking the oral solution of Dilantin.
Remember that the Dilantin dosage is tailored to the patient’s condition, age and capacity of drug tolerance.
The usual adult dosage is 100 mg per day which is to be taken 3 times. The maintenance dose for adults is around 400 mg per day. This drug dose is also administered as a single dose.
The pediatric dosage is 5 mg/kg per day to be given in divided doses. The drug can be individualized and the dose can go up to a 300 mg per day for children if recommended by a doctor. The maintenance dose for children below 6 years of age is 4 to 8 mg/kg per day. Children above 6 years can be given bigger doses.
It is necessary to check your blood and liver constantly when taking this medicine since it can cause changes in the constituents of blood and functions of the liver.
Anti-epileptic medications can cause varying side effects in patients. Given below is a list of the most common side effects of Dilantin.
Trembling or shivering
Problems with muscle coordination
Uncontrolled movement of the eyes
Swelling and bleeding of gums
An allergy to Dilantin can cause itching, rashes, swelling of lymph nodes, tongue or face, mild fever and severe dizziness.
Some people may experience depression or suicidal thoughts after taking Dilantin. Caretakers should monitor the behavior of patients very often.
Dilantin should not be taken if you are:
Allergic to phenytoin or similar drugs like mephenytoin or fosphenytoin
Tell your doctor if you can relate to anything listed below to make sure that this drug is safe for you.
A history of slowed heartbeats
A condition in the heart known as AV block
Vitamin D deficiency
Avoid the consumption of alcohol and antacid when taking Dilantin. Alcohol can worsen drug reactions in your body and antacid will weaken your body’s ability to absorb Dilantin.