How Anti-Seizure Meds like Dilantin® Helps Prevent and Control Seizures


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A seizure is sometimes described as an electrical storm in the brain. A sudden increase in electrical activity in the brain can trigger a seizure.

Dilantin® (phenytoin) is a prescription anti-seizure medication. This medication is an anticonvulsant, meaning it helps control and prevent generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures and complex partial seizures.

How is Dilantin® prescribed?

Dilantin® comes as a capsule and must be taken exactly as prescribed. It is often prescribed as a once a day medication though your doctor may prescribe it in two or more divided doses. Your prescribed dose will depend on your doctor’s diagnosis of your medical condition(s), your reaction to the medication, other medications you may be taking, and other criteria set by your doctor.

Dilantin Infatabs® are tablets that may be chewed before swallowing, or may be swallowed as the whole tablet. It is usually prescribed to be taken 2-3 times per day.

Brand name Dilantin® – 30 mg capsule

Brand name Dilantin® – 100 mg capsule

Brand name Dilantin Infatabs® – 50 mg tablet

Generic Phenytoin – 100 mg capsule

This medication should be taken at the same time each day to ensure there is a constant steady level of this medication in your body.

Do not take calcium supplements or antacids at the same time as this medication as it my decrease the absorption of the Dilantin®.

Do not stop taking this medication without your doctor’s guidance, as stopping Dilantin® suddenly may create unpleasant side effects and possibly make seizures worse.

Dilantin® Side Effects

Like many medications, prescription Dilantin® may have some side effects. Some common side effects experienced by people who take Dilantin® include:

Swelling/bleeding of gums







Speak to your pharmacist about what other possible side effects may be experienced when you take prescription Dilantin®. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, including anti-seizure medications (ethotoin, phenobarbital, ethosuximide, carbamazepine, trimethadione)

If you have any of the following medical conditions or a history of these medical conditions, tell your doctor before taking Dilantin®:


Liver disease


Vitamin B12 deficiency

Blood conditions such as porphyria

A history of alcohol abuse

Pregnancy or plans to become pregnant

What other conditions does Dilantin® treat?

Dilantin® may be used for several medical conditions including:


Complex partial seizures

Generalized Tonic-Clonic seizures

Prevention of seizures following a head injury

Prevention of seizures during neurosurgery

What is a Seizure?

Watch this video from The Epilepsy Foundation and visit their website at to learn more about epilepsy and to learn seizure first aid.

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