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The eMC  

Last Updated 17 Sep 2013

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Phenytoin sodium 250mg/5ml solution for injection ampoules

Phenytoin Sodium (Fen-nee-toh-in soh-dee-um) is a medicine which is used in a number of conditions.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Phenytoin sodium varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

There are 6 preparations of Phenytoin sodium available. If Phenytoin sodium 250mg/5ml solution for injection ampoules is not the preparation you are looking for, please select from the drop down list below.

Select your preparation (type) of Phenytoin sodium

Phenytoin sodium 250mg/5ml solution for injection ampoules

Information specific to Phenytoin sodium 250mg/5ml solution for injection ampoules when used in Epilepsy

Your medicine

Phenytoin Sodium is used to treat epilepsy. People with epilepsy are prone to having periods of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. These periods of uncontrolled electrical activity may lead to seizures. Phenytoin Sodium helps to control electrical activity in the brain. This reduces the chances of having seizures. Phenytoin Sodium is given by injection to treat a seizure after it has already started. Phenytoin Sodium can also be used to prevent or treat seizures caused by brain surgery or head injury. It may also be used in heart rhythm problems when other medicines have not worked.

Phenytoin Sodium is usually given to you by a healthcare professional. The person responsible for giving you your medicine will make sure that you get the right dose.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber or someone involved in your medical care.

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When to take your medicine

The person with responsibility for giving you your medicine will make sure that you have your medicine at the prescribed times.

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How to take your medicine

This medicine will be given to you as an injection. If you have any concerns about this medicine or how this will be given to you, talk to someone who is involved in your medical care.

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Taking too much of your medicine

Having extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems.

In the case of Phenytoin Sodium, the person who is responsible for giving you your medicine will make sure that you are given the correct dose.

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Stopping your medicine

Some people experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop having this medicine. The person in charge of your medical care will decide when to stop giving you this medicine and how best to minimise any withdrawal symptoms.

If you have any concerns about this, talk to someone who is involved in your care.

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Looking after your medicine

As Phenytoin Sodium will be given to you as an injection, it will usually be stored by the medical team.

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Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Phenytoin Sodium is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for a child.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to confirm that this is the right dose
  • to check that this medicine is not having any undesired effects

Over time it is possible that Phenytoin Sodium can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Phenytoin Sodium has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.

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Side-effects

A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks.

Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.

Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.

Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown

If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call 111.

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Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Phenytoin Sodium:

The following types of medicine may interact with Phenytoin Sodium:

If you are taking Phenytoin Sodium and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

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Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins.

Make sure you tell your prescriber the names of all the complementary preparations and vitamins that you are taking or are planning to take.

Your prescriber can then decide whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact.

In the case of Phenytoin Sodium:

If you have been prescribed Phenytoin Sodium you should only take something on the above list on the specific advice of your prescriber or pharmacist.

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Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

In the case of Phenytoin Sodium:

  • this medicine could affect your ability to drive or operate machinery

You should see how this medicine affects you before you judge whether you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt about whether you should drive or operate machinery, talk to your prescriber.

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Diet

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Phenytoin Sodium:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when having Phenytoin Sodium
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Alcohol

Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Phenytoin Sodium:

You should seek advice from your prescriber as to whether you may drink alcohol while taking this medicine.

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Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Phenytoin Sodium:

  • you should only have this medicine during pregnancy if your doctor thinks that you need it

You need to discuss your specific circumstances with your doctor to weigh up the overall risks and benefits of taking this medicine. You and your doctor can make a decision about whether you are going to take this medicine during pregnancy.

If the decision is that you should not have Phenytoin Sodium, then you should discuss whether there is an alternative medicine that you could take during pregnancy.

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Breast-feeding

Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Phenytoin Sodium:

  • breast-feeding is not recommended while having this medicine

Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. They will help you decide what is best for you and your baby based on the benefits and risks associated with this medicine. If you wish to breast-feed you should discuss with your prescriber whether there are any other medicines you could take which would also allow you to breast-feed. You should not stop this medicine without taking advice from your doctor.

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Ingredients of your medicine

Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They may also be used to prolong the life of the medicine.

This medicine contains phenytoin sodium.

We are unable to list all of the ingredients for your medicine here. For a full list, you should refer to the patient information leaflet that comes with this medicine or ask your prescriber. You should check that you are able to take the ingredients of your medicine, especially if you have any allergies.

If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Phenytoin Sodium before, do not take Phenytoin Sodium. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.

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Phenytoin Sodium, Version 9, last updated 17 Sep 2013