Dilantin (Phenytoin)

Dilantin or phenytoin is a medication used in the treatment of symptoms of seizures after the surgery to the brain or nervous system. Dilantin falls under a class of medication called anticonvulsants and works by decreasing abnormal amounts of electrical activity produced in the brain. This medication should be used exactly as directed. If you have questions about how to take it contact your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Dilantin may also be used to treat other conditions; your doctor will have more information on those.


Before taking Dilantin tell your doctor if you are allergic to phenytoin or any other ingredients in Dilantin. Tell your doctor about any other conditions that you suffer from or if you are pregnant, going to become pregnant or are breast feeding.  Notify your doctor about any other medications or supplements that you are taking as these may cause adverse effects on your body while taking Dilantin.

Dilantin may cause some side effects. These are generally not serious but if they are severe or do not go away call your doctor:

  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • uncontrollable eye movements
  • abnormal body movements
  • loss of coordination
  • confusion
  • slowed thinking
  • slurred speech
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • unwanted hair growth
  • coarsening of facial features
  • enlargement of lips
  • overgrowth of gums
  • pain or curving of the penis

If you experience any of these side effects contact your doctor at once:

  • swollen glands
  • fever
  • blisters
  • rash
  • joint pain
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • excessive tiredness
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • loss of appetite
  • flu-like symptoms

Dilantin may have similar side effects to Lamictal. Lamictal side effects include:

  • loss of balance or coordination
  • double vision
  • blurred vision
  • uncontrollable movements of the eyes
  • difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • difficulty speaking
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • stomach, back, or joint pain
  • missed or painful menstrual periods
  • swelling, itching, or irritation of the vagina
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body

More serious side effects include:

  • seizures that happen more often, last longer, or are different than the seizures you had in the past
  • chest pain
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light
  • loss of consciousness

If you experience any other side effects while taking these medications call your doctor at once. IF you have any questions regarding these medications talk to your doctor or pharmacist.