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Phenytoin

Uses

This medication is used to treat specific types of seizures or epilepsy (fits).

IUPAC name: 5,5-diphenyl imidazolidine-2,4-dione

Drug class: Anticonvulsant/ Antiepileptic drug

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Route of administration: Oral, intravenous

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This anti-epileptic medicine works by decreasing the abnormal activity of nerve impulses in the brain that produce seizures, hence aiding in seizure reduction.

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, headache, lack of coordination, constipation, gum damage, confusion, unusual eye movements, fatigue, loss of appetite, trouble in speech, vision changes, muscle/joint pain, excessive growth of hair on the face, irregular heart rate, hypersensitivity, shortness of breath.

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to it, or to other hydantoin containing anticonvulsant drugs, or if you have other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

When you have a history of liver disease, diabetes, cardiac disease, mental disorders, unusual thoughts, porphyria (type of blood disorder), vitamin D deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency,

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

This medication may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.

Use of this medication should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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