Dilantin

Dilantin prevents and treats certain types of epileptic seizures. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication. Alcohol should be avoided.

Dilantin Overview

Updated: 

Dilantin is a prescription medication used to treat tonic-clonic (grand mal) and complex partial (psychomotor or temporal lobe) seizures, and also to prevent and treat seizures that occur during and/or after brain surgery.

Dilantin belongs to a group of drugs called anticonvulsants. These drugs work to prevent and treat seizures by reducing the spread of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that causes seizures.

This medication comes in an immediate-release and extended-release capsule, chewable tablet, and oral liquid forms. The chewable tablet and liquid forms are usually taken 2 to 5 times a day. Dilantin capsules are usually taken 1 to 4 times a day. Dilantin can be taken with or without food.

Common side effects include spontaneous jerky eye movements, confusion, and slurred speech.

Dilantin can also cause dizziness, drowsiness, and/or blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Dilantin affects you.

Patient Ratings for Dilantin

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  • Other
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa
  • Epilepsy
  • Epilepsy, Post-traumatic
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe
  • Epilepsy, Tonic-clonic

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Dilantin Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Dilantin

Dilantin is a prescription medication used to treat tonic-clonic (grand mal) and complex partial (psychomotor or temporal lobe) seizures, and also to prevent and treat seizures that occur during and/or after brain surgery.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Dilantin Drug Class

Dilantin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Dilantin

Serious side effects have been reported with Dilantin. See the “Dilantin Precautions” section.

Common side effects of Dilantin include the following:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • trouble sleeping
  • slurred speech
  • confusion
  • nervousness
  • tremor
  • rash
  • problems with walking and coordination

These are not all the possible side effects of Dilantin. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

Dilantin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • Abiraterone
  • Afatinib
  • Amifampridine
  • Apazone
  • Apixaban
  • Apremilast
  • Aprepitant
  • Aripiprazole
  • Artemether
  • Atazanavir
  • Axitinib
  • Beclamide
  • Bedaquiline
  • Blinatumomab
  • Boceprevir
  • Bortezomib
  • Bosutinib
  • Brexpiprazole
  • Bupropion
  • Cabozantinib
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Canagliflozin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cariprazine
  • Ceritinib
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clozapine
  • Cobicistat
  • Cobimetinib
  • Crizotinib
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Dabrafenib
  • Daclatasvir
  • Dasabuvir
  • Dasatinib
  • Deferasirox
  • Delamanid
  • Delavirdine
  • Diazepam
  • Diazoxide
  • Dihydroxyaluminum Aminoacetate
  • Dihydroxyaluminum Sodium Carbonate
  • Dolutegravir
  • Donepezil
  • Doxorubicin
  • Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
  • Dronedarone
  • Elvitegravir
  • Edoxaban
  • Eliglustat
  • Enzalutamide
  • Erlotinib
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Ethosuximide
  • Etravirine
  • Everolimus
  • Exemestane
  • Ezogabine
  • Fentanyl
  • Fluvastatin
  • Gefitinib
  • Golimumab
  • Halothane
  • Hydrocodone
  • Ibrutinib
  • Idelalisib
  • Ifosfamide
  • Imatinib
  • Infliximab
  • Irinotecan
  • Irinotecan Liposome
  • Itraconazole
  • Isavuconazonium Sulfate
  • Ivabradine
  • Ivacaftor
  • Ixabepilone
  • Ixazomib
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lapatinib
  • Ledipasvir
  • Lidocaine
  • Linagliptin
  • Lopinavir
  • Lurasidone
  • Macitentan
  • Magaldrate
  • Magnesium Carbonate
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Magnesium Trisilicate
  • Maraviroc
  • Methotrexate
  • Miconazole
  • Mifepristone
  • Naloxegol
  • Netupitant
  • Nifedipine
  • Nilotinib
  • Nimodipine
  • Nintedanib
  • Olaparib
  • Ombitasvir
  • Oritavancin
  • Orlistat
  • Osimertinib
  • Palbociclib
  • Panobinostat
  • Paritaprevir
  • Pazopanib
  • Perampanel
  • Piperaquine
  • Pixantrone
  • Ponatinib
  • Posaconazole
  • Praziquantel
  • Ranolazine
  • Regorafenib
  • Reserpine
  • Rifampin
  • Rilpivirine
  • Ritonavir
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Rocuronium
  • Roflumilast
  • Rolapitant
  • Romidepsin
  • Secukinumab
  • Sertraline
  • Siltuximab
  • Simeprevir
  • Sofosbuvir
  • Sonidegib
  • Sorafenib
  • St John's Wort
  • Sunitinib
  • Tacrolimus
  • Tamoxifen
  • Tasimelteon
  • Telaprevir
  • Temsirolimus
  • Theophylline
  • Thiotepa
  • Ticagrelor
  • Tofacitinib
  • Tolvaptan
  • Trabectedin
  • Ulipristal
  • Vandetanib
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vilazodone
  • Vincristine
  • Vincristine Sulfate Liposome
  • Vinflunine
  • Vorapaxar
  • Voriconazole
  • Vortioxetine

Combining the following drugs with Dilantin may increase the risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If you must take any of the following medications, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acetaminophen
  • Acetazolamide
  • Acyclovir
  • Amiodarone
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amprenavir
  • Atorvastatin
  • Betamethasone
  • Bexarotene
  • Bleomycin
  • Busulfan
  • Capecitabine
  • Carboplatin
  • Caspofungin
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Cimetidine
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Cisplatin
  • Clobazam
  • Clofazimine
  • Clopidogrel
  • Colesevelam
  • Cortisone
  • Cyclosporine
  • Desogestrel
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dicumarol
  • Dienogest
  • Digitoxin
  • Diltiazem
  • Disopyramide
  • Disulfiram
  • Doxepin
  • Doxifluridine
  • Drospirenone
  • Estradiol Cypionate
  • Estradiol Valerate
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Ethynodiol Diacetate
  • Etonogestrel
  • Felbamate
  • Fluconazole
  • Fludrocortisone
  • Fluorouracil
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Folic Acid
  • Fosamprenavir
  • Ginkgo
  • Imipramine
  • Isoniazid
  • Levodopa
  • Levomethadyl
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Levothyroxine
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • Meperidine
  • Mestranol
  • Methoxsalen
  • Methsuximide
  • Midazolam
  • Nafimidone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Nilutamide
  • Nisoldipine
  • Norelgestromin
  • Norethindrone
  • Norgestimate
  • Norgestrel
  • Ospemifene
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Paclitaxel
  • Pancuronium
  • Paroxetine
  • Phenprocoumon
  • Piperine
  • Prednisolone
  • Prednisone
  • Progabide
  • Quetiapine
  • Quinidine
  • Quinine
  • Remacemide
  • Rifapentine
  • Risperidone
  • Rufinamide
  • Sabeluzole
  • Shankhapulshpi
  • Simvastatin
  • Sirolimus
  • Sulfamethizole
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Sulfaphenazole
  • Sulthiame
  • Tegafur
  • Telithromycin
  • Tenidap
  • Tiagabine
  • Ticlopidine
  • Ticrynafen
  • Tirilazad
  • Tizanidine
  • Tolbutamide
  • Topiramate
  • Trazodone
  • Triamcinolone
  • Trimethoprim
  • Tubocurarine
  • Valacyclovir
  • Valproic Acid
  • Vecuronium
  • Verapamil
  • Vigabatrin
  • Viloxazine

 This is not a complete list of Dilantin drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Dilantin Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Dilantin including the following:

Seizures upon abrupt discontinuation of Dilantin use. Stopping Dilantin suddenly can cause seizures that are very difficult to treat. Do not stop taking Dilantin without first talking to a healthcare provider.

Softening of your bones (osteomalacia). This can cause broken bones. Be sure to follow your physician's instructions exactly regarding use of supplemental vitamin D and/or calcium products while you are taking Dilantin.

Liver damage. Cases of acute liver toxicity and failure have been reported in patients using Dilantin. Consult with your physician about your risk for liver damage during treatment with Dilantin.

Low blood counts. Complications involving low blood counts have been reported in patients using Dilantin. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with and without bone marrow suppression. Before beginning treatment with Dilantin, consult with your physician about your individual level of risk for developing these conditions.

Overgrowth of gums. Dilantin can cause overgrowth of your gums. Brushing, flossing your teeth, and seeing a dentist regularly while taking Dilantin can help prevent this.

Serious and sometimes fatal skin reactions. Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis have been reported in patients using Dilantin. Discontinue use at the first sign of a rash and consult with your physician immediately.

Suicidal behavior and impulses. Like other antiepileptic drugs, Dilantin may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you in any way:
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • an extreme increase activity and talking (mania)
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood
  • thoughts about suicide or dying

Watch for early symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions. Pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled. 

Call your healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms. Suicidal thoughts or actions can be caused by things other than medicines. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, your healthcare provider may check for other causes.

Hypersensitivity reactions. Serious and sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions are possible with use of Dilantin. You may or may not have a rash with these types of reactions. Symptoms may include:
  • swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or tongue
  • trouble swallowing or breathing
  • a skin rash
  • hives
  • fever, swollen glands, or sore throat that do not go away or come and go
  • painful sores in the mouth or around your eyes
  • yellowing of your skin or eyes
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • severe fatigue or weakness
  • severe muscle pain
  • frequent infections or an infection that does not go away

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

Do not take Dilantin if you:

  • are allergic to Dilantin or any of the ingredients in phenytoin
  • have had an allergic reaction to Cerebyx (fosphenytoin), Peganone (ethotoin), or Mesantoin (mephenytoin)
  • currently take delaviridine

Do not drink alcohol while you take Dilantin without first talking to your healthcare provider. Drinking alcohol while taking Dilantin may change your blood levels of Dilantin which can cause serious problems.

Dilantin can also cause dizziness, drowsiness, and/or blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Dilantin affects you.

Dilantin Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Dilantin, your healthcare provider may recommend you separate your Dilantin dose at least 2 hours from dairy product consumption, as there is a potential food-drug interaction.

Dilantin doses should be administered at least two hours before, or two hours after, an intermittent tube feeding or ingestion of an enteral supplement. If you are receiving continuous enteral feedings, consult with healthcare provider.

Inform MD

Before taking Dilantin, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Dilantin or to any of its ingredients
  • take delaviridine
  • have ever experienced suicidal behavior or impulses in the past
  • have liver disease
  • have a vitamin D and/or calcium deficiency or osteoporosis
  • drink alcohol
  • have porphyria
  • experience frequent heartburn that is treated with antacid medications
  • have any skin conditions that causes rashes
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Dilantin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Dilantin falls into category D. It has been shown that use of Dilantin in pregnant women caused some babies to be born with problems. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby.

Dilantin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Dilantin has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from Dilantin, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Dilantin Usage

  • Take Dilantin exactly as prescribed. 
  • Dilantin comes in immediate-release and extended-release capsule, chewable tablet, and oral liquid forms. The chewable tablet and liquid forms are usually taken 2 to 5 times a day. Dilantin capsules are usually taken 1 to 4 times a day. Dilantin can be taken with or without food.
  • Do not chew, divide, or break Dilantin extended-release capsules. Swallow Dilantin extended-release capsules whole.
  • Dilantin chewable tablets can either be chewed thoroughly before being swallowed or swallowed whole.
  • Your doctor may need to periodically monitor your blood levels of Dilantin during treatment to adjust your dose properly. 
  • Do not change your dose of Dilantin without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Dilantin suddenly can cause serious problems.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you take Dilantin without first talking to your healthcare provider. Drinking alcohol while taking Dilantin may change your blood levels of Dilantin which can cause serious problems.
  • If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Dilantin at the same time.

Dilantin Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your age

The recommended dose range of Dilantin for the treatment of tonic-clonic (grand mal) and complex partial (psychomotor or temporal lobe) seizures and prevention and treatment of seizures that occur during and/or after brain surgery is as follows:

immediate-release capsules: 100 mg to 200 mg orally three to four times per day, with a maximum of two 100 mg capsules three times per day OR three 100 mg capsules once per day

extended-release capsules: 100 mg to 200 mg orally three to four times per day OR three 100 mg capusles once per day

chewable tablets: two to four 50 mg tablets three to four times per day, with a maximum of twelve 50 mg tablets per day

oral liquid: 5ml by mouth three to five times per day

Dilantin Overdose

If you take too much Dilantin call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store Dilantin oral liquid at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C)
  • Store Dilantin chewable tablets at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C)
  • Store Dilantin capsules at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) in tight, light-resistant containers
  • Protect from moisture
  • Protect from light
  • Do not freeze
  • Keep Dilantin and all medicines out of the reach of children