What is Phenytoin?

Category: Prescription Drugs

Most popular types: Dilantin Phenytoin EX Dilantin Kapseals Show all

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Phenytoin is an antiarrhythmic and anticonvulsant agent that is used for the management of generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal), complex partial seizures; and for the prevention of seizures following head trauma/neurosurgery. It is also used for neuropathic pain.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Epilepsy 553 276
Seizures (grand mal or tonic-clonic) 70 48
Seizures 46 58
Seizures (complex partial) 6 21
Stiffness/spasticity 3 0

Show all 36 reasons taken


  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations Percentage
Severe 92
Moderate 85
Mild 69
None 78

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Phenytoin

Side effect Patients Percentage
Bleeding gums 13
Drowsiness 12
Dizziness 10
Depressed mood 9
Fatigue 8
Memory problems 7

Show all 148 reported side effects

Dosages

Based on patients currently taking Phenytoin

Dosage Patients Percentage
300 mg daily 3
200 mg daily 2
100 mg three times daily 2
90 mg daily 1
100 mg daily 1
400 mg daily 1
600 mg daily 1

Why patients stopped taking Phenytoin

Multiple reasons could be selected

Reason Patients Percentage
Doctor's advice 153
Side effects too severe 140
Did not seem to work 122
Other 62
Course of treatment ended 23
Personal research 16
Change in health plan coverage 5
Expense 5
See all 342 patients who've stopped taking Phenytoin

Duration

Currently taking Phenytoin

Duration Patients Percentage
5 - 10 years 3
10 years or more 7

Stopped taking Phenytoin

Duration Patients Percentage
Less than 1 month 67
1 - 6 months 52
6 months - 1 year 28
1 - 2 years 34
2 - 5 years 51
5 - 10 years 35
10 years or more 77
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations Percentage
Always 270
Usually 37
Sometimes 5
Never taken as prescribed 12
Burden
Burden Evaluations Percentage
Very hard to take 28
Somewhat hard to take 33
A little hard to take 48
Not at all hard to take 215
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations Percentage
$200+ 2
$100-199 1
$50-99 17
$25-49 51
< $25 141
Not specified 112

What people switch to and from

Patients started taking Phenytoin after stopping:

Treatment Patients Percentage
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) 6
Phenobarbital 4
Levetiracetam (Keppra) 3
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) 2
Quinidine 2

Show all 12 treatments patients report switching from

Patients stopped taking Phenytoin and switched to:

Treatment Patients Percentage
Levetiracetam (Keppra) 10
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) 6
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) 6
Divalproex sodium (Depakote) 2
Gabapentin (Neurontin) 2

Show all 12 treatments patients report switching to

Last updated:

28 patient evaluations for Phenytoin

Jul 1, 2015 (Started Jul 01, 2015)

  • Effectiveness
    Can't tell (for epilepsy)
  • Side effects
    Moderate (depressed mood)
  • Adherence
    Usually
  • Burden
    Very hard to take
Dosage: 100 mg Twice daily

  • 0 helpful marks

Nov 14, 2014 (Started Oct 20, 2014)

  • Effectiveness
    Slight (for seizures)
  • Side effects
    Moderate (fuzzy thinking, cognitive confusion)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 50 mg Twice daily

Nov 13, 2014 (Started Oct 20, 2014)

  • Effectiveness
    Slight (for seizures)
  • Side effects
    Severe (fuzzy thinking, cognitive confusion)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 50 mg Twice daily
Advice & Tips: On stronger doses, you do feel like your IQ has dropped significantly. I spent an afternoon trying to work out how to switch my watch off Daylight Savings (and failed). You can make very poor and impulsive decisions. A client who didn't know my condition was bugging me for a conference call, and I sent him a selfie from my ICU bed to explain that, no, I can't do a conference call (blush). You can miss out on vital information - it just flies over your head. I wish I could say you feel care free, but you don't because you know you're missing your mental cognition. You need to make notes about EVERYTHING, especially questions for med team. You need to re-read those notes and add further notes. IMHO, you need to get your Phenytoin exit strategy in place as soon as you learn how to say it. The day my dosage halved and we added Keppra was such a joy - I could think again!

  • 0 helpful marks

Jul 21, 2013 (Started Jul 21, 2013)

  • Effectiveness
    None (for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures)
  • Side effects
    Severe (anaphylaxis)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 50 mg One time
Advice & Tips: Allergy anaphylaxis

  • 0 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 28 patient evaluations for Phenytoin