This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
- This drug may cause an abnormal heartbeat or low blood pressure if given too fast. Sometimes, this has been deadly. The doctor will watch your child’s heart closely when your child gets this drug. Tell your child’s doctor right away if your child has a fast, slow, or abnormal heartbeat during or after a dose.
- It is used to help control certain kinds of seizures.
- If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.
- If your child has a slow heartbeat, heart block, or other heartbeat that is not normal.
- If your child has had liver problems in the past while taking this drug or phenytoin.
- If your child is taking delavirdine.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your child wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
- Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles.
- This drug interacts with many other drugs. The chance of this drug’s side effects may be raised or how well this drug works may be lowered. The chance of the other drugs’ side effects may also be raised. This may include very bad, life-threatening, or deadly side effects. Check with the doctor and pharmacist to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of their other drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins).
- Do not stop giving this drug to your child all of a sudden without calling the doctor. Your child may have a greater risk of seizures. If your child needs to stop this drug, you will want to slowly stop it as told by the doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Have the level of phenytoin in your child’s blood checked as you have been told by the doctor. If the level is too high, some side effects may happen. This includes a type of brain problem that may not go back to normal. Talk with the doctor.
- If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch his/her blood sugar closely.
- Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
- Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child other drugs and natural products that may slow your child’s actions.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly skin problems like rashes have been reported. People of Asian descent are most likely to get these. Talk with the doctor right away if your child gets a rash.
- This drug may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your child’s health care providers and lab workers that your child takes this drug.
If your child is or may be sexually active:
- Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Be sure your child uses some other kind of birth control also, like a condom, when taking this drug.
If your child is pregnant:
- This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy. If your child is pregnant or gets pregnant while taking this drug, call the doctor right away.
- A bleeding problem that can be life-threatening may happen in newborns if your child took this drug during pregnancy.
If your child is breast-feeding a baby:
- Tell the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about any risks to the baby.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Trouble controlling body movements, twitching, change in balance, trouble swallowing or speaking.
- Feeling confused.
- Ringing in ears.
- Hearing loss.
- Not able to control eye movements.
- If seizures are worse or not the same after starting this drug.
- Swelling, pain, or change in skin color near the injection site or down the arm/hand.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly effect has happened in people taking drugs for seizures like this drug. Call the doctor right away if your child has swollen glands; fever; rash; chest pain; not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed; or signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Lymph node problems like cancer have happened in people taking this drug. It is not known if this drug may be the cause. Talk with the doctor if your child has swollen glands.
- Rarely, certain blood problems have happened with this drug. This can lead to bleeding problems or infections. Sometimes, these have been deadly. Tell the doctor right away if your child has signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or a wound that will not heal. Tell the doctor right away if your child has any unexplained bruising or bleeding, or feels very tired or weak.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into a muscle or as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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