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Phenytoin is used in the treatment of epilepsy

How it works

Phenytoin control seizures or fits by suppressing the abnormal and excessive activity of the nerve cells in the brain.

Common side effects

Rash, Swelling of gums, Swelling of lymph nodes, Glucose intolerance, Anemia, Softening of bones

Available Medicine

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Expert advice

  • Do not take phenytoin if you are allergic to phenytoin or any of its other ingredient.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery immediately after taking phenytoin as it may cause drowsiness.
  • Do not stop the medication even if you feel fine, until you are checked by the doctor and told to do so.
  • Do not take phenytoin if you have an addiction to alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Avoid using phenytoin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding or planning to become pregnant.
  • Do not take phenytoin if you have a history of liver disease; vitamin D deficiency or diabetes; mental depression or are having suicidal thoughts.

Frequently asked questions



How does phenytoin work?
Phenytoin is used to control seizures in epilepsy patients. It is used majorly to treat patients who are having surgery in the brain or nervous system. It is used to treat as well as prevent seizures in such patients. Phenytoin belongs to a class of medication call anti-convulsants. It acts by slowing down the electrical activity of the brain


Is phenytoin dialyzable?
Phenytoin is dialyzable


Can it be removed by dialysis?
It can be removed by dialysis

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Can I take ibuprofen/aspirin/Tylenol with phenytoin?
Phenytoin is known to interact with ibuprofen/aspirin/Tylenol. It should be combined only on strict advice of the doctor


Does phenytoin cause weight gain/QT prolongation/Gingival hyperplasia/memory loss/ hyponatremia/photosensitivity/hair loss/ make you sleepy/high?
Phenytoin is known to cause gingival hyperplasia/memory loss/ hyponatremia/photosensitivity make you sleepy as side effects. It is not known to cause weight gain/QT prolongation/make you high. Please inform the doctor immediately if you observe side effects.

Content on this page was last updated on 22 February, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)