|Other Info:||Rx onlyLAB-0203-2.0Rev September 2006|
Dilantin (phenytoin) is indicated for the control of tonic-clonic (grand mal) and psychomotor (temporal lobe) seizures.Phenytoin serum level determinations may be necessary for optimal dosage adjustments (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY sections).
Tonic - clonic seizures
-- A generalized tonic-clinic seizure, characterized by loss of consciousness. This type of seizure may be preceded by an aura and is frequently followed by a period of confusion and lethargy (post-ictal state).
-- A generalized seizure disorder characterized by recurrent major motor seizures. The initial brief tonic phase is marked by trunk flexion followed by diffuse extension of the trunk and extremities. The clonic phase features rhythmic flexor contractions of the trunk and limbs, pupillary dilation, elevations of blood pressure and pulse, urinary incontinence, and tongue biting. This is followed by a profound state of depressed consciousness (post-ictal state) which gradually improves over minutes to hours. The disorder may be cryptogenic, familial, or symptomatic (caused by an identified disease process). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p329)
Temporal lobe epilepsy
-- A localization-related (focal) form of epilepsy characterized by recurrent seizures that arise from foci within the temporal lobe, most commonly from its mesial aspect. A wide variety of psychic phenomena may be associated, including illusions, hallucinations, dyscognitive states, and affective experiences. The majority of complex partial seizures (see EPILEPSY, COMPLEX PARTIAL) originate from the temporal lobes. Temporal lobe seizures may be classified by etiology as cryptogenic, familial, or symptomatic (i.e., related to an identified disease process or lesion). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p321)
Dilantin is contraindicated in those patients with a history of hypersensitivity to phenytoin or other hydantoins.
-- Altered reactivity to an antigen, which can result in pathologic reactions upon subsequent exposure to that particular antigen.
Abrupt withdrawal of phenytoin in epileptic patients may precipitate status epilepticus.
When in the judgment of the clinician the need for dosage reduction, discontinuation, or substitution of alternative anticonvulsant medication arises, this should be done gradually.
In the event of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, more rapid substitution of alternative therapy may be necessary.
In this case, alternative therapy should be an anticonvulsant not belonging to the hydantoin chemical class.There have been a number of reports suggesting a relationship between phenytoin and the development of lymphadenopathy (local or generalized) including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease.
Although a cause and effect relationship has not been established, the occurrence of lymphadenopathy indicates the need to differentiate such a condition from other types of lymph node pathology.
Lymph node involvement may occur with or without symptoms and signs resembling serum sickness, e.g., fever, rash, and liver involvement.In all cases of lymphadenopathy, follow-up observation for an extended period is indicated and every effort should be made to achieve seizure control using alternative antiepileptic drugs.Acute alcoholic intake may increase phenytoin serum levels, while chronic alcoholic use may decrease serum levels.In view of isolated reports associating phenytoin with exacerbation of porphyria, caution should be exercised in using this medication in patients suffering from this disease.
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