FAQs | DILANTIN® (extended phenytoin sodium capsules, USP) | Safety Info

Frequently Asked Questions

Although your doctor is the best source for answering your specific questions about seizures and treatment with DILANTIN, you can find answers to common questions here.

General Information About DILANTIN

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What is DILANTIN?

DILANTIN is a prescription medicine used to treat certain types of seizures called tonic-clonic (grand mal) and psychomotor (temporal lobe) seizures, and to prevent and treat seizures that happen during or after brain surgery.

What is the most important information I should know about DILANTIN?

1. Do not stop taking DILANTIN without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • Stopping DILANTIN suddenly can cause serious problems
  • Stopping a seizure medicine suddenly can cause you to have seizures more often or seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus)

2. Like other antiepileptic drugs, DILANTIN may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Call a healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

  • Thoughts about suicide or dying
  • Attempts to commit suicide
  • New or worse depression
  • New or worse anxiety
  • Feeling agitated or restless
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • New or worse irritability
  • Acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • An extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • Other unusual changes in behavior or mood

Suicidal thoughts or actions can be caused by things other than medicines. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, your healthcare provider may check for other causes.

How can I watch for early symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions?

  • Pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings
  • Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled

Call your healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms.

3. DILANTIN can cause a type of serious allergic reaction that may affect different parts of the body such as your liver, kidneys, blood, heart, skin or other parts of your body. These can be very serious and cause death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Swelling of your face, eye, lips, or tongue
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Bruise easily
  • Purple or red spots on your skin
  • Increase infections
  • Not wanting to eat (anorexia)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing of the skin and the white part of your eyes (jaundice)

Call your healthcare provider even if the symptoms are mild or if you have been taking DILANTIN for an extended period of time. These symptoms can be a sign of a serious allergic reaction.

How to Get Brand-Name DILANTIN

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How can I ensure that I won’t get switched to a generic substitute?

Here are 3 suggested tips to help make sure you receive brand-name DILANTIN and not a generic:

  1. At your doctor’s office: Ask your doctor to prescribe brand-name DILANTIN and to indicate “DAW” (Dispense As Written)—or the language used in your state—on all of your DILANTIN prescriptions.
  2. At your pharmacy’s drop-off: Tell the pharmacist that you want brand-name DILANTIN—and be sure to use the DILANTIN Savings Card. The DILANTIN Savings Card can only be used with brand-name DILANTIN.
  3. At your pharmacy’s pick-up: Check your pills to be sure they’re brand-name DILANTIN—not the generic—and also check that you’ve saved on your prescription.

What should I do if I receive a generic substitute instead of brand-name DILANTIN?

Talk to your doctor and/or your pharmacist to ask if you should be getting brand-name DILANTIN.

How do I know if I received brand-name DILANTIN?

Check your pills for the distinctive shape and markings of brand-name DILANTIN.

Saving on DILANTIN

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What is the DILANTIN Savings Card?

The DILANTIN Savings Card allows eligible patients to save up to $20 every time they get a 30-day fill of brand-name DILANTIN—and could save up to $240 a year. If you have a prescription for brand-name DILANTIN, you can use the card for every fill through December 31, 2020.*

*Terms and conditions apply.

How do I use the DILANTIN Savings Card?

There are 2 ways to use the card immediately. Once you’ve activated your Savings Card, you can either:

  • Bring a printed copy of it to the pharmacy
  • Show it to your pharmacist on your phone

You can keep this card with you and continue to save on each fill for DILANTIN through December 31, 2020.

Who is eligible to use the DILANTIN Savings Card?

To be eligible to use a DILANTIN Savings Card, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Not be a resident of Massachusetts (Restrictions may apply in other states)
  • Not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state healthcare programs
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The Card is not valid for California residents whose prescriptions are covered in whole or in part by third-party insurance, a healthcare service plan, or other health coverage where a lower cost generic is available, unless applicable step therapy or prior authorization requirements have been completed.

Please check with your healthcare professional or insurer to confirm eligibility.

To learn the full details of who is eligible, please see the full Terms and Conditions.

How do I get a DILANTIN Savings Card?

To get a Savings Card, register here and then download your card or have it sent to you via mail or email.

Can I use the DILANTIN Savings Card on a previously filled prescription?

If you’ve already filled your prescription, you may receive reimbursement via a mail-in rebate.

Make a copy of your pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt not valid). Circle the product name, date, and price. Make a copy of the front of your DILANTIN Savings Card and write your name and address at the top.

Mail these items to the address below:

Attn: DILANTIN Rebate
PO Box 4936
Warren, NJ 07059

Does the DILANTIN Savings Card work at nonparticipating pharmacies?

If you’ve already filled your prescription, you may receive reimbursement via a mail-in rebate.

Make a copy of your pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt not valid). Circle the product name, date, and price. Make a copy of the front of your DILANTIN Savings Card and write your name and address at the top.

Mail these items to the address below:

Attn: DILANTIN Rebate
PO Box 4936
Warren, NJ 07059

Does the DILANTIN Savings Card work through mail-order pharmacies?

If you’ve already filled your prescription, you may receive reimbursement via a mail-in rebate.

Make a copy of your pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt not valid). Circle the product name, date, and price. Make a copy of the front of your DILANTIN Savings Card and write your name and address at the top.

Mail these items to the address below:

Attn: DILANTIN Rebate
PO Box 4936
Warren, NJ 07059

Taking DILANTIN

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What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking DILANTIN?

Before taking DILANTIN, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • Have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Have had an allergic reaction to a medicine similar to DILANTIN called carboxamides, barbiturates, succinimides, and oxazolidinediones
  • Have or had liver or kidney problems
  • Have or had an enzyme problem called porphyria
  • Have or had high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Drink alcohol
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. DILANTIN may harm your unborn baby
    • If you take DILANTIN during pregnancy, your baby is at risk for serious birth defects
    • If you become pregnant while taking DILANTIN, the level of DILANTIN in your blood may decrease, causing your seizures to become worse. Your healthcare provider may change your dose of DILANTIN
    • If you take DILANTIN during pregnancy, your baby is also at risk for bleeding problems right after birth. Your healthcare provider may give you and your baby medicine to prevent this
    • All women of child-bearing age should talk to their healthcare provider about using other possible treatments instead of DILANTIN
    • If you are of childbearing age and are not planning on getting pregnant, you should use effective birth control (contraception) while taking DILANTIN
    • Pregnancy Registry: If you become pregnant while taking DILANTIN, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. DILANTIN can pass into breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take DILANTIN while you are breastfeeding

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. These medicines can change the levels of DILANTIN in your blood.

Taking DILANTIN with certain other medicines can cause side effects or affect how well they work. Do not start or stop other medicines without talking to your healthcare provider.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I take DILANTIN?

  • Take DILANTIN exactly as your healthcare provider tells you
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how much DILANTIN to take and when to take it
  • Your healthcare provider may change your dose if needed. Do not change your dose of DILANTIN without talking to your healthcare provider
  • If your healthcare provider has prescribed DILANTIN oral suspension, ask your pharmacist for a medicine dropper or medicine cup to help you measure the correct amount of DILANTIN. Do not use a household teaspoon. Ask your pharmacist for instructions on how to use the measuring device the right way
  • Do not stop taking DILANTIN without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping DILANTIN suddenly can cause serious problems

How should I store my DILANTIN?

  • Store DILANTIN Capsules at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C)
  • Store in tight, light-resistant containers
  • Protect from moisture

Keep DILANTIN and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Safety & Possible Side Effects

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Who should not take DILANTIN?

Do not take DILANTIN if you:

  • Are allergic to phenytoin or any of the ingredients in DILANTIN. See Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in DILANTIN
  • Have had an allergic reaction to CEREBYX (fosphenytoin), PEGANONE (ethotoin), or MESANTOIN (mephenytoin)
  • Have had liver problems from taking phenytoin
  • Take delavirdine

What are the possible side effects of DILANTIN?

See What is the most important information I should know about DILANTIN?

DILANTIN may cause other serious side effects including:

  • Liver problems
  • Low blood count which could increase your chance of getting infections, bruising, bleeding, and increased fatigue
  • Softening of your bones (osteopenia, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia) can cause your bones to break (fractures)
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • High levels of DILANTIN in your blood that could cause confusion also known as delirium, psychosis or a more serious condition that affects how your brain works (encephalopathy)

Call your healthcare provider right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

The most common side effects of DILANTIN include:

  • Irregular movement of the eye (nystagmus)
  • Problems with movement and balance (ataxia)
  • Slurred speech
  • Decrease in coordination
  • Drowsiness (somnolence)
  • Confusion

DILANTIN can cause overgrowth of your gums. Brushing and flossing your teeth and seeing a dentist regularly while taking DILANTIN can help prevent this from happening.

These are not all of the possible side effects of DILANTIN.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What should I avoid while taking DILANTIN?

  • Do not drink alcohol while you take DILANTIN without first talking to your healthcare provider. Drinking alcohol while taking DILANTIN may change your blood levels of DILANTIN which can cause serious problems
  • Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how DILANTIN affects you. DILANTIN can slow your thinking and motor skills
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