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Drug Guide
 
 

Phenytoin

 
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    Oral / IV
    Phenytoin
    Dilantin 
  • Mechanism of Action

  • Inhibits voltage-gated sodium channels, preventing propagation of action potentials and thus suppressing seizure activity.
  • Pharmacology
  • Non-linear pharmacokinetics – small dose changes can result in large changes in plasma concentration.
  • Co-administration with valproate results in increased serum concentrations of phenytoin

Clinical Use

  • Indications
  • Generalised tonic-clonic seizures
  • Status epilepticus (IV)
  • Adverse Effects
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Hirsutism
  • CNS disturbances – drowsiness, tremor, dysarthria, diplopia
  • Purple glove syndrome (IV) – distal limb discolouration, pain and swelling
  • Anticonvulsant hypersensitivity syndrome (prolonged admin) – fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, hepatitis, myositis
  • Monitoring

  • Plasma concentration should be monitored in order to ensure therapeutic effect.
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