Pharm III

Pharm III

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  • Phenytoin
  • Great question, Tom! We want you to be comfortable with your medication. Phenytoin is an anti-epiletic drug, or anticonvulsant. It will slow the impulses, the abnormal electrical activity in your brain, that cause seizures.
  • Dr. Smith said I was being prescribed Phenytoin today for my seizures, what does that do?
  • Phenytoin
  • Phenytoin may cause you to be drowsy or dizzy, so be careful driving. Side effects that you should notify your provider of immediately include skin rash, fever, sore throat, unusual bleeding, unsteady gait and swollen glands.
  • Do I have to worry about any side effects? This medication is very new to me.
  • Phenytoin
  • A couple more things would be to make sure you take this as directed. Please avoid alcohol - and give 2-3 hours before or after you take your medication to use antacids. Make sure your providers are aware that you are taking Phenytoin.
  • Thank you for your help, ma'am! I feel much better about this new regimen.
  • Phenytoin works to decrease seizure activity of tonic-clonic and complex partial seizures and can also be used to terminate ventricular arrhythmias. Patients should be placed on seizure precautions. This medication should be administered with or immediately after meals, at the same time of day, in order to minimize GI irritation. 
  • Phenytoin should be used cautiously, as it can increase risk of suicidal thoughts. In women it may increase risk of congenital abnormalities, and should be used cautiously in patients with severe cardiac, hepatic, renal or respiratory disease. Oral hygiene must be vigorous in order to prevent gingival hyperplasia.
  • There are many drug-drug interactions of Phenytoin, with decreased effects of Delavirdine as one of the most prominent as it is contraindicated. Antacids may decrease absorption and should not be used in a 2-3 hour window of taking medication. St. John's wort may decrease levels, and Phenytoin may decrease absorption of folic acid.  
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