Phenytoin is used for generalized tonic-clonic seizures, complex partial seizures, mixed seizures, and seizure prophylaxis in neurologic procedures. Its mechanism by improving sodium efflux from neurons of the motor cortex to stabilize the threshold against hyperexcitability.

Phenytoin is highly protein bound and needs dosage changes in patients with hypoalbuminemia and in those who metabolize other highly protein-bound medications.

Before starting the regin, patients should be instructed regarding the potential for nystagmus, gingival hyperplasia, and rash.

Phenytoin Stabilizes neuronal membranes and decreases seizure activity by increasing efflux or decreasing influx of sodium ions across cell membranes in the motor cortex during generation of nerve impulses; prolongs effective refractory period and suppresses ventricular pacemaker automaticity, shortens action potential in the heart

Labeled Indications

Seizures (non-emergent use): Control of generalized tonic-clonic and complex partial (psychomotor, temporal lobe) seizures; prevention and treatment of seizures occurring during or following neurosurgery.

Status epilepticus (injection only): Treatment of generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus.

Phenytoin is excreted in breast milk; however, the amount to which the infant is exposed is considered small.

Pregnancy Risk  D


Pharmacist, CPHQ, CHQO, Quality Coordinator, Chemotherapy Preparation incharge. Graduated pharmacy school in 2009 I stood with my classmates as we recited the “Oath of a Pharmacist” in. There is one particular vow that stood out to me as we recited the Oath and I embrace this vow, “I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.” I love being a pharmacist because it allows me to use my knowledge, abilities, and talents to improve patient outcomes in the community hospital in which I am employed as the pharmacy clinical coordinator.

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