phenytoin (oral) (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin Infatabs, Dilantin-125, Phenytek)?
You should not use phenytoin if you also take delavirdine (Rescriptor), or if you are allergic to phenytoin, ethotoin (Peganone), fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), or mephenytoin (Mesantoin).
To make sure you can safely take phenytoin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Patients of Asian ancestry may have a higher risk of developing a rare but serious skin reaction to phenytoin. Your doctor may recommend a blood test before you start the medication to determine your risk of this skin reaction.
FDA pregnancy category D. Phenytoin may cause harm to an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both the mother and the baby.
If you are pregnant, DO NOT START TAKING phenytoin unless your doctor tells you to. If you become pregnant while taking phenytoin, DO NOT STOP TAKING the medicine without your doctor's advice.
Seizure control is very important during pregnancy. The benefit of preventing seizures may outweigh any risks posed by taking phenytoin. Follow your doctor's instructions about taking phenytoin while you are pregnant.
Phenytoin can make birth control pills less effective. To prevent pregnancy while you are taking phenytoin, use a non-hormonal form of birth control (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide).
Phenytoin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using phenytoin.
How should I take phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin Infatabs, Dilantin-125, Phenytek)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Do not use any phenytoin capsule that has changed colors. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. You may also need a blood test when switching from one form of phenytoin to another. Visit your doctor regularly.
If you are taking phenytoin to treat seizures, keep taking the medication even if you feel fine. You may have an increase in seizures if you stop taking phenytoin. Do not change your dose of phenytoin without your doctor's advice. Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work as well in treating your condition.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take phenytoin. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking a seizure medication.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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