WHAT IS A PHENYTOIN LAB TEST?
The Phenytoin Lab Test measures the level of phenytoin (Dilantin) in the blood.
AM I REQUIRED TO FAST FOR THIS LAB TEST?
WHAT IS THE PRICE OF A PHENYTOIN LAB TEST?
*Price may vary by location – contact your local ANY LAB TEST NOW®
Phenytoin (brand name Dilantin) is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication used to treat and prevent generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures, complex partial seizures (psychomotor) seizures and seizures occurring during or after neurosurgery. Although it is not clearly understood how phenytoin works, it is thought that the medication reduces the sensitivity of nerves in the brain to stimulation and reduces the transmission of impulses between the nerves.
Phenytoin dosage is specific to the individual and may increase the metabolism of other medications in the body. It can also cause side effects and liver or kidney damage so regularly monitoring of the concentration in the blood and watching for unusual symptoms is important. Your physician will check blood levels every few days during initial treatment and then recurrent testing is necessary to track efficacy and to ensure that the level in the blood is in the therapeutic range.
WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE MY DILANTIN LEVEL CHECKED?
Are you taking phenytoin (Dilantin) to control seizures and need to monitor the concentration of the medication in your system?
Phenytoin is a powerful, effective medication for treating and preventing seizures but it may cause serious side effects and, infrequently, liver damage. It is not recommended for those with certain kidney and liver diseases or the elderly. Specific medications can interact unpredictably with phenytoin and may increase the potential for toxicity of phenytoin. These include acute alcohol use, Diazepam, Prozac, Concerta, Prilosec, and Zoloft among others. Phenytoin can cause anemia, a rise in blood sugar, sexual dysfunction, dizziness, drowsiness, vitamin D deficiency, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Blood levels of phenytoin should be monitored frequently when treatment begins and then periodically once the treatment level has been established to ensure that it remains in the therapeutic range. A phenytoin test may be recommended if a patient does not seem to be responding to the medication. The test can determine if the concentration is too low or the patient is not taking the medication as directed. If you are experiencing troublesome or severe side effects such as swelling of the gums or lymph nodes, hirsutism (unusual hair growth), insomnia or kidney failure or liver disease a phenytoin test is recommended.
The therapeutic range for adults is usually between 10.0-20.0 mcg/mL for total phenytoin. Within these ranges most people respond well therapeutically without excessive side effects.
WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICIAN SHOULD I SEE?
You should see your primary care physician or your neurologist.
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