Phenytoin is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures.

Phenytoin is used to control seizures. Phenytoin does not treat all types of seizures, and your doctor will determine if it is the right medicine for you.

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  • Dilantin, Phenytek
  • More common
    Decreased coordination
    mental confusion
    nervousness
    slurred speech
    trouble with breathing, speaking, or swallowing
    unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
    Rare
    Inability to move the eyes
    increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
    shakiness and unsteady walk shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
    sticking out of the tongue
    trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
    twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
    uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
    unusual facial expressions
    Incidence not known
    Abdominal or stomach pain
    bleeding gums
    blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
    blisters, hives, or itching
    bloating of the abdomen or stomach
    blood in the urine or stools
    bloody, black, or tarry stools
    chest pain
    chills
    cough or hoarseness
    dark urine
    diarrhea
    difficulty with moving
    fainting spells
    fever with or without chills
    general feeling of discomfort or illness
    general feeling of tiredness or weakness
    hair loss
    headache
    high fever
    irregular heartbeat
    irritation in the mouth
    joint or muscle pain
    light-colored stools
    lower back or side pain
    muscle stiffness
    nausea or vomiting
    numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands or feet
    painful or difficult urination
    pale skin
    pinpoint red spots on the skin
    red skin lesions, often with a purple center
    red, irritated eyes
    redness and swelling of the gums
    skin blisters
    skin rash
    sore throat
    sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
    swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
    unusual bleeding or bruising
    unusual tiredness
    upper right abdominal or stomach pain
    weakness
    weight loss
    yellow eyes or skin
    Some phenytoin side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

    More common
    Trouble sleeping
    uncontrolled eye movements
    Incidence not known
    Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
    enlarged lips
    feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
    increased hair growth on the forehead, back, arms, or legs
    pain of the penis on erection
    sensation of spinning
  • (injectable solution, oral tablet, chewable, oral capsule, extended release, oral suspension, oral capsule, compounding powder)