Dilantin was developed at the turn of the 20th century as an anticonvulsant medication. It’s an effective drug to prevent seizures, especially the types that affect the whole brain (also called tonic-clonic). But it’s also effective to treat partial seizures. Meanwhile, it’s also prescribed for irregular heartbeat and neuropathic pain.
You can inject the drug or ingest it orally. Typically, you only inject the drug if the seizure will persist for over five minutes or if there are multiple seizures within the five-minute span. The medical condition is called status epilepticus. The drug is also being used to treat mood disorders and bipolar disorders. It should be noted that Dilantin is not really prescribed for these conditions but there are anecdotal reports of success in this area.
While Dilantin is prescribed as maintenance medicine for seizures, surgery rooms have this medication on their shelves because it’s also injected on patients when they suffer a seizure after a surgery or any other type of seizure in emergencies.
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Dilantin Side Effects
Even with all its documented benefits, the user will also feel some side effects when they take Dilantin. But this is normal. Even seemingly innocuous drugs like paracetamol will have some side effects.
Among the side effects for Dilantin include:
- Stomach cramps
- Gum bleeding
- Increased hair growth
- Loss of appetite
- Issues with motor coordination
- Issues with the bone marrow
- Attention span problems
But there are serious side effects for Dilantin, as well, which include:
- Birth defects
- Liver damage
- Suicidal thoughts
There are also documented cases of cerebellar degeneration. The symptoms of rare disease include wide-legged walk, lack of motor coordination, tremors in the body, slurred speech, and jerking movement of the limbs.
There’s a strong link between long-term use of Dilantin and osteoporosis or weakening of the bones. This is why patients who are taking Dilantin for prolonged periods are encouraged to also take vitamins and supplements. They need to take calcium, vitamin D, folic acid.
Finally, some patients may be allergic to Dilantin, in which case they need to be attended by a physician immediately because this may lead to death.
Don’t be sacred with some of the mild symptoms because they are normal. However, if you feel the more serious ones, consult your doctor immediately. Don’t just stop taking the medication without the go signal from your physician.
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A drug interaction occurs when you are taking Dilantin along with other medications, which could potentially have synergistic or antagonistic results. Synergistic simply means that the effects of Dilantin are heightened due to the presence of another substance. Antagonistic is the opposite of that.
Accordingly, there are more than 1,200 drugs that are known to interact with Dilantin, 200 of those have major consequences and almost 1,000 have been known to have moderate effects.
As to the diseases, the following are known to interact with Dilantin:
- Megaloblastic anemia
- Liver disease
- Renal dysfunction
- Blood dyscrasias
- thyroid function tests
Potential Abuse of Dilantin
Just like most drugs, patients and even non-patients have been known to abuse Dilantin in an attempt to achieve a Dilantin high. Typically, the abuse simultaneously occurs with other substances. The drug of choice by these patients seem to be alcohol.
This is interesting since the drug label specifically prohibits the patient from drinking alcohol while on Dilantin medication. This is because alcohol will decrease the efficacy of the drug while, at the same time, increase its side effects.
However, Dilantin is not something you use in order to get high. You can’t get any type of euphoric feeling from anticonvulsive medications as you do with painkiller opioids. In fact, the dangers outweigh the benefits since the patient will be at risk of suffering from psychiatric disorders or aggravating cognitive disorders while abusing Dilantin. In fact, it’s not listed in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
People abuse Dilantin because it does help alleviate some of the physical pain they are feeling.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-371-4198 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.