What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet. The original leaflet can be viewed using the link above.

The text only version may be available in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call emc accessibility on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL 13621/0061.


Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules 25mg

Package leaflet: Information for the user

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn 25mg Hard Capsules

Phenytoin Sodium

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.

  • Keep this leaflet.You may need to read it again.
  • If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
  • If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

What is in this leaflet

1. What Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules are and what they are used for
2. What you need to know before you take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules
3. How to take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules
6. Contents of the pack and other information

1. What Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules are and what they are used for

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules are one of a group of medicines called anti-epileptic drugs; these medicines are used to treat epilepsy.

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules can be used to control a variety of epileptic conditions, to control or prevent seizures during or after brain surgery or severe head injury. Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules can also be used to treat trigeminal neuralgia (facial nerve pain).

You should ask your doctor if you are unsure why you have been given Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules.

2. What you need to know before you take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules

Do not take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules

  • if you are allergic to Phenytoin, or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6).
  • if you are allergic to other medicines with a similar chemical structure to Phenytoin (e.g. hydantoins).

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules.

Medicines are not always suitable for everyone.

Your doctor needs to know before you take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules if you suffer from or have suffered in the past from any of the following conditions:

  • Liver disease.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Porphyria (an inherited disease that affects haemoglobin biosynthesis).

The following symptoms have been reported in some people treated with phenytoin at recommended doses:

  • shortness of breath, becoming unconscious, or unresponsive. All can be the symptoms of the sudden, unexpected stopping of the heart (known as cardiac arrest). If you or someone you know is taking Phenytoin and experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical support.
  • severe allergic reactions like swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, mouth and / or throat, as well as the tongue may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing (known as angioedema) and sudden wheeziness.
    All these can be symptoms leading to a sudden, unexpected stopping of the heart (known as cardiac arrest). Stop taking your medicine and seek immediate medical help.
  • slower heartbeat (known as bradycardia).

A small number of people being treated with antiepileptics such as phenytoin sodium have had thoughts of harming or killing themselves. If at any time you have these thoughts, immediately contact your doctor.

Serious skin side effects can rarely occur during treatment with Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules. This risk may be associated with a variant in genes in a subject with Chinese or Thai origin. If you are of such origin and have been tested previously carrying this genetic variant (HLA-B*1502), discuss this with your doctor before taking Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules.

There is a risk of harm to the unborn child if Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules are used during pregnancy. Women of childbearing age should use effective contraception with Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules (see Pregnancy, contraception in women, and breast-feeding).

Other medicines and Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.

Some medicines can affect the way Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules work and Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules themselves can reduce the effectiveness of other medicines taken at the same time. These include:

  • Medicines used for heart and circulation problems (amiodarone, digoxin, furosemide, reserpine, warfarin, calcium channel blockers e.g. diltiazem, mexiletine, nicardipine, nifedipine, nimodipine, disopyramide and verapamil)
  • Medicines used to lower blood cholesterol, (e.g. atorvastatin, fluvastatin and simvastatin)
  • Medicines used for epilepsy (carbamazepine, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, sodium valproate, topiramate and valproic acid, succinimides e.g. ethosuximide and vigabatrin)
  • Medicines used to treat fungal infections (e.g. amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, posaconazole and voriconazole)
  • Medicines used for tuberculosis and other infections (chloramphenicol, clarithromycin, isoniazid, rifampicin, sulphonamides, sulfadiazine, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, efavirenz, fosamprenavir, indinavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, ritonavir and saquinavir)
  • Medicines used for stomach ulcers (omeprazole, sucralfate, the medicines known as H2 antagonists e.g. cimetidine and some antacids)
  • Medicines used for asthma and bronchitis (theophylline)
  • Medicines used for pain and inflammation (salicylates e.g. aspirin and steroids)
  • Medicines used for sleeplessness, depression and psychiatric disorders (chlordiazepoxide, clozapine, diazepam, disulfiram, fluoxetine, methylphenidate, paroxetine, phenothiazines, trazodone, tricyclic antidepressants, fluvoxamine, quetiapine and sertraline)
  • Medicines used for diabetes (tolbutamide).
  • Some hormone replacement therapies (oestrogens), oral contraceptives (the birth control pill)
  • Medicines used for organ and tissue transplants, to prevent rejection (ciclosporin and tacrolimus)
  • Medicines used for cancer (antineoplastic agents, e.g.bleomycin, capecitabine, carboplatin, cisplatin, doxorubicin, fluorouracil and methotrexate)
  • Muscle relaxants used for surgery (neuromuscular blockers), some anaesthetic drugs (methadone)
  • Some products available without a prescription (folic acid, theophylline, St John’s Wort, vitamin D).

Your doctor may need to test the amount of Phenytoin in your blood to help decide if any of these medicines are affecting your treatment.

The herbal preparation St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) should not be taken at the same time as this medicine. If you already take St John’s Wort, consult your doctor before stopping the St John’s Wort preparation.

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules may also interfere with certain laboratory tests that you may be given.

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules with food, drink and alcohol

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules can be taken before or after food and drinks. Drinking a lot of alcohol can also affect the concentration of Phenytoin in your blood.

Pregnancy, contraception in women and breast-feeding

Pregnancy

If you are pregnant consult your doctor promptly. You should not stop taking your medicine until you have discussed this with your doctor. Stopping your medication without consulting your doctor could cause seizures which could be dangerous to you and the pregnancy. Your doctor may decide to change your treatment. Closer monitoring of your unborn child could also be considered.

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules may cause birth defects. If you take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsule during pregnancy your baby has a higher risk of having a birth defect. Birth defects which have been reported include facial, skull, nail, finger and heart abnormalities.

If you are of childbearing age and plan to become pregnant, consult your doctor for a preconceptional visit. You should discuss your treatment options with your doctor.

If you take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules during pregnancy, your baby is also at risk for bleeding problems right after birth. Your doctor may give you and your baby a medicine to prevent this. Moreover, your child should be closely monitored.

Contraception in women

If you are of childbearing age, you should discuss your treatment options and effective methods of birth control with your doctor. Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules may result in a failure of hormonal contraceptives, hence you should be counselled regarding the use of other effective contraceptive methods.

Breast-feeding

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules passes into breast milk. You should not take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules if you are breast-feeding.

Driving and using machines

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules may cause dizziness or drowsiness, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. If you experience these symptoms, do not drive or use any tools or machinery.

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules contain lactose, a type of sugar.

If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.

3. How to take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

It is best to take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules at the same time each day.

Swallow the capsules whole, with plenty of water.

Adults

The amount of Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules needed varies from one person to another. Most adults need between 200mg and 500mg a day either as a single or divided dose. Occasionally higher doses are needed.

Use in children and adolescents

Infants and children usually start on a dose that depends on their weight (5mg per day for every kg they weigh) and is given as a divided dose, twice a day. The dose is then adjusted up to a maximum of 300mg a day.

Elderly and patients with kidney or liver disease

The dose of Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules for elderly patients, patients with kidney or liver disease, or those who may be taking other medicines may also need careful consideration and adjustment by their doctor.

If you take more Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules than you should

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules are dangerous in overdose. If you accidentally take too much Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules contact your doctor at once or go to the nearest hospital casualty department.

Always take the labelled medicine package with you, whether there are any Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules left or not.

If you forget to take Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is time for your next dose.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

If you stop taking Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules

Do not stop taking Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules unless your doctor tells you to. If you suddenly stop taking this medicine you may have a seizure. Should you need to stop taking Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules, your doctor will have decided which is the best method for you.

If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

4. Possible side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking this medicine. Although they are very rare, these symptoms can be serious.

  • Severe allergic reaction like swelling of eyelids, face, lips, mouth and/or throat, as well as the tongue which may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing (known as angioedema) and sudden wheeziness. Stop taking your medicine immediately and tell your doctor.
  • If you develop a severe skin rash that causes blistering, (this can also affect the mouth and tongue). These may be signs of a condition known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome, or toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Your doctor will stop your treatment in these cases.
  • If you notice bruising, fever, you are looking pale or you have a severe sore throat. These may be the first signs of an abnormality of the blood, including decreases in the number of red cells, white cells or platelets. Your doctor may take regular blood samples to test for these effects.
  • Skin rash and fever with swollen glands, particularly in the first two months of treatment, as these may be signs of a hypersensitivity reaction.
    If these are severe and you also experience pain and inflammation of the joints this could be related to a condition called systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • If you experience confusion or have a severe mental illness, as this may be a sign that you have high amounts of phenytoin in your blood. On rare occasions, when the amount of phenytoin in the blood remains high, irreversible brain injury has occurred. Your doctor may test your blood to see how much phenytoin is in the blood and may change your dose.

Other side-effects that may occur are:

  • Effects on your nervous system: Unusual eye movements, unsteadiness, difficulty in controlling movements, shaking, abnormal or uncoordinated movements, slurred speech, confusion, pins and needles or numbness, drowsiness, dizziness, vertigo, sleeplessness, nervousness, twitching muscles, headaches, and taste change.
  • Effects on your skin: skin rash including measles-like reactions which are mild and hives (raised, itchy areas of skin).
  • Effects on your stomach and intestines: feeling sick, being sick and constipation.
  • Effects on your blood and lymph system: swelling of the lymph glands.
  • Effects on your liver and kidney: inflammation of the kidneys and liver, liver damage (seen as yellowing of the skin and whites of the eye).
  • Effects on your reproductive system: changes in the shape of the penis, painful erection.
  • Effects on your hands, face and body: changes in the hands with difficulty in straightening the fingers, changes in facial features, enlarged lips or gums, increased or abnormal body or facial hair.
  • Effects on medical tests: increased levels of blood sugar, or decreased levels of blood calcium, folic acid and vitamin D and abnormal thyroid function test results. If you also do not get enough vitamin D in your diet or from exposure to sunlight, you may suffer from bone pain or fractures.
  • Effects on your respiratory system: problems breathing, inflammation of the lining of the lung.
  • Effects on your immune system: problems with the body’s defence against infection, inflammation of the wall of the arteries.
  • Effects on your bones: There have been reports of bone disorders including osteopenia and osteoporosis (thinning of the bone) and fractures. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are on long-term antiepileptic medication, have a history of osteoporosis, or take steroids.

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

5. How to store Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Do not store above 25°C. Store in the original package in order to protect from light.

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help to protect the environment.

6. Contents of the pack and other information

What Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules contain

  • The active substance is phenytoin sodium.
  • The other capsule contents are lactose monohydrate and magnesium stearate.
  • The capsule shells contain gelatin, sodium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide (E171), patent blue V (E131) and erythrosine (E127).
  • The printing ink contains the following: shellac, black iron oxide (E172) and propylene glycol.

What Phenytoin Sodium Flynn Hard Capsules look like and contents of the pack

Phenytoin Sodium Flynn 25mg Hard Capsules are half white and half purple hard capsules marked with “Epanutin 25” and available in packs containing 28 or 500 capsules. The capsules are packed in a plastic container which contains a desiccant. The desiccant should not be eaten.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

Marketing Authorisation Holder

Flynn Pharma Ltd
Marine House
Clanwilliam Place
Dublin 2
Ireland

Manufacturer

Pfizer Manufacturing Deutschland GmbH
Freiburg site
Mooswaldallee 1
D-79090 Freiburg
Germany

This leaflet was last revised in November 2020