Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available



  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
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Prevents seizures.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Dilantin (Phenytoin) is effective at preventing seizures, but has many drug interactions and side effects. If your blood tests show that you have the right amount of Dilantin (Phenytoin) levels, you’ll have a lower chance of getting side effects.

  • Dilantin (Phenytoin) is effective at preventing seizures, and treating seizures in an emergency.
  • Available in an oral suspension and chewable tablets if you have trouble swallowing capsules.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Need to get blood tests regularly to make sure Dilantin (Phenytoin) has safe and effective levels in your body.
  • Can cause changes in your appearance, such as unwanted hair growth, enlargement of the gums, and coarsening of your facial features.
  • If you have kidney problems, your dose and kidney function will have to be checked regularly to make sure Dilantin (Phenytoin) levels don’t get too high.
  • Can make many other medicines less effective, including birth control.

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Side effects for Dilantin (Phenytoin)

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These are side effects of Dilantin (Phenytoin) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.

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What to expect when you start Dilantin (Phenytoin)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can cause loss of coordination, confusion, uncontrollable eye movements, and unwanted hair growth while on this.
  • If you’re taking supplements, let your doctor know. You’ll likely have to space out the supplements and Dilantin (Phenytoin) so they don’t interact.
  • If you start having skin rashes or thoughts of suicide, tell your doctor immediately.
  • Makes many drugs less effective, so make sure your doctor has a complete list of what you’re taking.
  • If you need to stop taking Dilantin (Phenytoin), do so over at least one week to prevent withdrawal seizures.

Risks and Warnings for Dilantin (Phenytoin)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • People of Asian ancestry

    Dilantin (Phenytoin) has been linked to severe, life-threatening skin reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS). If you notice a rash or any other skin changes while taking Dilantin (Phenytoin), let your doctor know immediately.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Dilantin (Phenytoin)

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The FDA category for this medication is D. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Kidneys & liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • If you have kidney problems, your dose and kidney function will have to be checked regularly to make sure Dilantin (Phenytoin) levels don’t get too high.