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All about: Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules

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Generic Name: Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules (FEN-i-toin)
Brand Name: Examples include Dilantin Kapseals and Phenytek

Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules is used for:

Treating tonic-clonic (grand mal) and partial seizures. It is also used to prevent and treat seizures that may occur during or after brain or nervous system surgery. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules is an anticonvulsant. It works in the brain to block the spread of seizure activity.

Do NOT use Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules or to other hydantoins (eg, fosphenytoin)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules:

Some medical conditions may interact with Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a blood disease (eg, porphyria), liver disease, diabetes, or a history of lymph gland problems
  • if you are in very poor health
  • if you drink alcohol or have a history of alcohol abuse

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Amiodarone, benzodiazepines (eg, diazepam), chloramphenicol, dicumarol, disulfiram, estrogen, ethosuximide, fluoxetine, H2 blockers (eg, cimetidine), isoniazid, methylphenidate, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), phenylbutazone, salicylates (eg, aspirin), succinimides (eg, ethosuximide), sulfonamides (eg, glyburide), ticlopidine, tolbutamide, or trazodone because they may increase the risk of Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules's side effects
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), phenobarbital, sodium valproate, or valproic acid because they may decrease Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules's effectiveness or increase the risk of its side effects
  • Carbamazepine, molindone, reserpine, sucralfate, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may decrease Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules's effectiveness
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), cyclosporine, digoxin, doxycycline, estrogens, furosemide, hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills), paroxetine, quinidine, rifampin, theophylline, vitamin D, or warfarin because their effectiveness may be decreased by Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules
  • Many other prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for infections, inflammation, aches and pains, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, seizures), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, St. John's wort) may also interact with Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines might interfere with Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules:

Use Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Swallow Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Do not take capsules that are discolored.
  • If you take calcium products (eg, antacids), ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take them with Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. You may have an increased risk of side effects (eg, seizures). If you need to stop Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules or add a new medicine, your doctor will gradually lower your dose.
  • Continue to take Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • Taking Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
  • If you miss a dose of Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules.

Important safety information:

  • Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol while you are taking Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. Alcohol may increase or decrease the amount of medicine in your blood.
  • Do not change brands or dose forms (eg, tablets, suspension) of Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules without talking with your doctor.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Proper dental care is important while you are taking Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. Brush and floss your teeth and visit the dentist regularly.
  • Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
  • There have been reports of lymph node problems, including cancer, in patients who take Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. It is not known if Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules may be the cause. Contact your doctor right away if you develop swollen lymph nodes, fever, rash, dark urine, stomach pain, or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
  • Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules.
  • Lab tests, including blood phenytoin levels, may be performed while you use Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Women who take Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules may experience an increase in seizure activity if they become pregnant. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules while you are pregnant. Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules.

Possible side effects of Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; dizziness; headache; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); clumsiness or unsteadiness; confusion; dark urine; delirium; high blood sugar (increased thirst, hunger, or urination; rapid breathing; flushing; fruit-like breath odor); mental or mood changes; numbness or tingling of the hands or feet; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; signs of infection (eg, fever, chills, sore throat); slurred speech; stomach pain; swollen lymph nodes; swollen or tender gums; tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual eye movements; unusual muscle movements; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; decreased coordination; joint pain; loss of consciousness; severe dizziness; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; slow or difficult breathing; slurred speech; tremor; unusual eye movements.

Proper storage of Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules:

Store Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider
  • Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Phenytoin Extended-Release Capsules. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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