Treats seizures (epilepsy). This medicine is an anticonvulsant.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
Novaplus Pheytoin Sodium
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to phenytoin or similar medicines such as fosphenytoin (Cerebyx®). You should not receive this medicine if you are pregnant or if you have certain heart rhythm problems. You should not receive this medicine together with delavirdine (Rescriptor®).
How to Use This Medicine
- This medicine is usually given only for a short time when you cannot take other forms of anticonvulsant medicine, such as when you are in the hospital or when you have surgery.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle or into a vein.
- After your condition improves, your doctor might switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about this.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- There are many other drugs that can interact with phenytoin. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using other medicine for seizures, such as carbamazepine, ethosuximide, felbamate, methsuximide, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, quetiapine, valproate, topiramate, valproic acid, Depakene®, Tegretol®, Zarontin®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use St John's wort, amiodarone (Cordarone®), quinidine (Quinaglute®), aspirin, chlordiazepoxide (Librium®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), diazepam (Valium®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), disulfiram (Antabuse®), folic acid, furosemide (Lasix®), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), methylphenidate (Ritalin®), nisoldipine (Sular®), praziquantel (Biltricide®), reserpine, sucralfate (Carafate®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), tolbutamide (Orinase®), vitamin D, medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, simvastatin), medicine to treat depression (such as fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, trazodone), a phenothiazine medicine (such as promethazine, Phenergan®, Thorazine®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use cancer medicine (such as bleomycin, capecitabine, carboplatin, cisplatin, doxorubicin, fluorouracil, irinotecan, methotrexate, paclitaxel, teniposide, Camptosar®, Taxol®, Trexall®), medicine to treat an infection (such as chloramphenicol, doxycycline, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, rifampin, voriconazole, Nizoral®), a sulfa drug (such as sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, sulfasalazine, Azulfidine®, Bactrim®, Septra®), a steroid medicine (such as hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone), or medicine to treat HIV/AIDS (such as amprenavir, efavirenz, fosamprenavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Kaletra®, Norvir®).
- Birth control pills may not work as well while you are using this medicine. Use another form of birth control along with your pills to avoid pregnancy.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, low blood pressure, or porphyria.
- Tell your caregiver right away if your heartbeat becomes faster, slower, or pounding or if you feel lightheaded or faint while you are receiving this medicine. You might be getting the medicine too fast, and your caregiver will slow down the rate.
- Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blisters, peeling skin, redness, skin rash, sores, fever, or chills.
- Tell your doctor right away if you develop a fever, rash, and swollen or tender glands. Other symptoms might be unusual bleeding or bruising, or yellow eyes or skin. These may be symptoms of a serious and life-threatening reaction to this medicine.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have skin color changes, pain, or swelling where the needle is placed. This could occur days after you receive this medicine, but it is still important that you call right away. This problems is sometimes called "purple glove syndrome."
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and you notice a change in your blood sugar levels or if you have any questions, check with your doctor.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
- Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat, lightheadedness or fainting
- Feeling depressed, irritable, or restless
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
- Pain, changes in skin color, or swelling at or near the injection site
- Severe confusion, problems with balance or walking, slurred speech, tremors
- Swollen glands in your armpits, neck, or groin
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild confusion, slurred speech, clumsiness, problems with balance
- Mild skin rash