Community Forum Archive

Old vs New Dilantin

Wed, 09/03/2008 - 13:07
I called Pfizer (800) 438-1985 and asked them about the difference between the old Dilantin and the new Dilantin.  This is what I was told:
1.  The capsules are different.  The two halves of the old one were sealed with a band, and the new one is self-locking.
2.  The ingredients are bioequivalent, but they may not be identical in type or quantity.  That means that tests indicate that the body reacts virtually the same to both versions.
3.  The ingredients are secret.  The amounts are secret.  Sugar is likely to be one of the ingredients in the old or new versions (or both).
4.  The fine print about the bioequivalence, shown at the bottom of this letter (, is all we know about the comparison between the old and new formulations.
5.  They received a call yesterday from someone asking if aspartame had been added to the new formula.
6.  Pfizer thanked me for my "concerns" (God, how I hate that word), and they got an earful from me about their failure to communicate effectively with their customers.
Mark Yannone


Re: Old vs New Dilantin

Submitted by marlena21 on Fri, 2010-11-19 - 05:30
I have been taking Dilantin to control grand mal seizures for about 16 years now. It works very well for me. However, I recently learned that prolonged use can result in a higher risk of osteoporosis. Since women in my family three generations back have all had this condition, I'm now concerned about my bones and the continuation of this medication. Regards,Online Encyclopedia

Re: Old vs New Dilantin

Submitted by JODY23 on Wed, 2011-11-02 - 18:01
I have been taking the old Dilantin(Parke-Davis 100MG kapseals)for 40 years.The only time I had a seziure while taking the old Dilantin was when I forgot to take my medication.I have not had a seziure in over 10 years.I had several bottles (100 capsules)of Dilantin.I took only one capsule a day to control my seziures.A bottle of Dilantin lasted me about 3 months and 10 days.My mother took Dilantin,so between us,we had a lot of the old Dilantin.My mother has passed away and I was left with her Dilantin.I am now close to running out of the old Dilantin.I have tried the new dilantin and it made me ache all overand feel like I was going to have a seziure, but I didn't have one,I just ached all over.I thought about taking the generic version of Dilantin, but I heard that the generic caused more problems than the new dilantin.I called Pfizer and asked them about the formula in the new dilantin.They said the formula is the same as the old Dilantin,only the capsule has been changed.I asked them if the new Dilantin contained Aspartame.Again, they said the formula is the same.If the formula is the same, why do I have seziure like symptoms when I take it and when I take the old Dilantin I never have any seziure like symptoms at all. There is something in the new Dilantin that causes me problems.Aspartame can cause seziures in people who don't have epilepsy.What would it do to someone that had epilepsy?The person that said the new dilantin has Aspartame in it has no proof that Aspartame is in the new dilantin.All I know is, that the new dilantin contains something that give me problems.

Re: Old vs New Dilantin

Submitted by pgd on Wed, 2010-11-24 - 11:04
If what is in the old Dilantin vs the new Dilantin is a large concern, you can contact your family doctor/neurologist and ask that a written letter be sent to Pfizer. That's my understanding. Pfizer will mostly likely tell you whether aspartame is present or is not present in the product you mention. There is a book about the topic you mention which goes into how FDA approved medicines are made (and the need for full ingredient disclosure labeling) and what actually is in them (including food additives like aspartame). The book also explains why a brand name med can work differently than a generic med; also why one brand name med can work differently than another brand name med even when both contain the same active ingredient in the same amount. The book is: the How To (understand) Hyperactivity book (1981) about ADHD Inattentive by C. Thomas Wild and it discusses medicines like: Tirend, NoDoz, Ritalin, Bonine, and Dilantin. Dilantin historically has been known to work more predictably as a brand name med vs a generic. This has been reported in newspapers/other resources, from time to time, over the last forty years - how Dilantin works well when made to tight quality control standards and less well when slight changes are introduced. Good luck.

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