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Side Effects of Phenytoin

Serious Side Effects of Phenytoin

Some side effects of phenytoin, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Unusual, uncontrollable facial or body movements
  • Worsening of seizures
  • Unusual behavior or thinking
  • Unusual sensations, such as numbness, tingling, or burning
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Signs of liver damage, such as yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes
  • Bending of the penis (which makes intercourse difficult)
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior (see Seizure Medications and Suicide) 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including unexplained rash, hives, itching, and unexplained swelling.

Final Thoughts on Phenytoin Side Effects

It is possible that you may experience some or none of the phenytoin side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have side effects from a medicine that you have never tried. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking phenytoin or if something "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
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