Dilantin (dye-LAN-tin) is the brand name used in the United States, Canada, Australia, and some other countries for a widely used seizure medicine. It is also known by the generic name phenytoin (FEN-ih-toe-in).
Forms of Dilantin
The same medicine is available in many forms because people's needs vary. The name or appearance may differ from country to country but usually the dose (measured in milligrams, abbreviated "mg") will be the same. These descriptions apply to the U.S. versions:
The most common form is capsules, which must be swallowed whole, not chewed or opened. Dilantin brand capsules (called Kapseal) are available in two sizes 30 milligrams, which will remain unchanged, and 100 milligrams -- please note the change on the 100 mg.
Capsules with a pink band
|100-mg (clear) Kapseal -- Original to be discontinued
Capsules with an orange band
|100-mg New look -- to replace Kapseal
Capsules half orange and half white
Those who have trouble swallowing capsules (especially small children) may use tablets instead. They are flavored and chewable, but they also can be swallowed whole.
|Dilantin Infatabs 50-mg (yellow, triangular, scored)|
Dilantin-125 suspension 125 mg per 5 mL (orange)
Liquid has an orange-vanilla flavor. It is given in doses of 5 milliliters (mL), which is about equal to a teaspoon.
How to take and store Dilantin
Follow the doctor's directions. Call if you have any questions. Ask the doctor what to do if you forget a dose. The way the medicine is taken depends, of course, on what form the doctor has prescribed.
Swallow each capsule whole. Don't bite it or break it open. The capsules should be stored at a temperature below 86°F (30°C). Protect them from light and moisture-don't keep them in a damp bathroom, for instance.
The tablets can be either swallowed whole or chewed. Store them at a temperature below 86ºF (30°C). Protect them from moisture-don't keep them in the bathroom.
To use the liquid suspension, shake the bottle thoroughly just before measuring. Use the same standard-size medicine spoon or dropper each time to get an accurate dose. Do not mix the liquid Dilantin with any other liquid. Store the bottle at room temperature, between 68º and 77ºF (20°-25°C). Protect it from light and from freezing.
It's OK to take any form of Dilantin either with food or without food, but be consistent day in and day out. A person who usually takes it with meals should do that all the time.
If the doctor changes the amount of Dilantin that you take, you may be given a different form than what you've been taking. For example, you may start out using 30-mg capsules and then switch to 100-mg capsules. If this happens, be careful to use the correct number. Don't automatically continue to use the same number of capsules as before.
Don't use more than the doctor prescribes. If one or two extra capsules are taken, call the doctor for advice. For a larger overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency room right away unless you have other specific directions from your doctor.
Don't stop using Dilantin or change the amount taken without talking to the doctor first. Stopping any seizure medicine all at once can affect other medicines in the body. It may even cause nonstop seizures that can be life-threatening.
What if I forget?
A forgotten dose should be taken right away, unless it is almost time for the next one. In that case, just use one dose-not a double dose-and call the doctor's office for more advice.
Do your best to follow the doctor's directions. If you forget doses often, it may be a good idea to get a special pillbox or watch with an alarm to remind you. You also may want to ask the doctor whether you can use Phenytek, a type of phenytoin that is taken only once a day.
Taking the amount of seizure medicine the doctor prescribes and taking it at the right time every single day are the most important steps in preventing seizures!
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EEG while on Keppra/Dilantin...shows normal...duh?
Created by at2/15/08 - 1:51 pm|7 Comments