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General Information on Dosing With Phenytoin

Some general considerations for people taking phenytoin include:
 
  • Phenytoin comes in extended-release capsules, chewable tablets, and an oral suspension. These products are not interchangeable.
     
  • Phenytoin can be taken with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, try taking it with food. It is important that you take it consistently the same way (either with food or without food).
     
  • For phenytoin suspension, make sure to shake the medication thoroughly before each dose.
     
  • Chewable phenytoin tablets (Dilantin Infatabs) can be swallowed whole.
     
  • Do not chew, crush, or open phenytoin capsules (Dilantin Kapseals), as they are extended-release products.
     
  • Phenytoin should not be given at the same time as a "tube feeding," since this may decrease the level of the medicine in your blood.
     
  • The medication should be taken at the same times each day to maintain even levels of phenytoin in your blood.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Phenytoin will not work if you stop taking it.
     
  • If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or phenytoin dosing in general, talk with your healthcare provider, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the drug without discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Dilantin Withdrawal).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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