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 556 272
Seizures (grand mal or tonic-clonic) 67 43
Seizures 44 53
Seizures (complex partial) 5 17
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
Severe
92
Moderate
82
Mild
70
None
73

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Phenytoin

Side effect Patients
Bleeding gums 13
Drowsiness 13
Dizziness 10
Depressed mood 9
Fatigue 8
Gingivitis (gum disease) 7

Show all 201 reported side effects

Dosages

Based on patients currently taking Phenytoin

Dosage Patients
400 mg daily 9
300 mg daily 6
300 mg twice daily 3
100 mg daily 2
200 mg daily 2
500 mg daily 2
600 mg daily 2
2 capsule(s) daily 1
2 mg twice daily 1
90 mg daily 1

See all 14 dosages

Why patients stopped taking Phenytoin

Multiple reasons could be selected

Reason Patients
Doctor's advice 158
Side effects too severe 143
Did not seem to work 125
Other 62
Course of treatment ended 24
Personal research 16
Change in health plan coverage 6
Expense 6
See all 348 patients who've stopped taking Phenytoin

Duration

Currently taking Phenytoin

Duration Patients
6 months - 1 year 2
2 - 5 years 5
5 - 10 years 4
10 years or more 20

Stopped taking Phenytoin

Duration Patients
Less than 1 month 69
1 - 6 months 53
6 months - 1 year 30
1 - 2 years 34
2 - 5 years 52
5 - 10 years 35
10 years or more 77
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations
Always 263
Usually 38
Sometimes 5
Never taken as prescribed 11
Burden
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 29
Somewhat hard to take 35
A little hard to take 44
Not at all hard to take 209
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 2
$100-199 1
$50-99 17
$25-49 50
< $25 136
Not specified 111

What people switch to and from

Patients started taking Phenytoin after stopping:

Treatment Patients
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) 7
Levetiracetam (Keppra) 4
Phenobarbital 4
Topiramate (Topamax) 3
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) 2

Show all 13 treatments patients report switching from

Patients stopped taking Phenytoin and switched to:

Treatment Patients
Levetiracetam (Keppra) 11
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) 7
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) 7
Divalproex sodium (Depakote) 2
Gabapentin (Neurontin) 2

Show all 12 treatments patients report switching to

Last updated:

29 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 (cognitive confusion, fuzzy thinking)
  • 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 (cognitive confusion, fuzzy thinking)
  • 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 29 patient evaluations for Phenytoin