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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Anticonvulsants, Hydantoin

Anticonvulsants, Hydantoin (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects | Additional Information

  • Antiarrhythmic - Phenytoin
  • Anticonvulsant - Ethotoin; Fosphenytoin; Mephenytoin; Phenytoin
  • Antineuralgic, trigeminal neuralgia - Phenytoin
  • Skeletal muscle relaxant - Phenytoin

Hydantoin anticonvulsants (hye-DAN-toyn an-tye-kon-VUL-sants) are used most often to control certain convulsions or seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. Phenytoin also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

In seizure disorders, these medicines act on the central nervous system (CNS) to reduce the number and severity of seizures. Hydantoin anticonvulsants may also produce some unwanted effects. These depend on the patient's individual condition, the amount of medicine taken, and how long it has been taken. It is important that you know what the side effects are and when to call your doctor if they occur.

Hydantoin anticonvulsants are available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Ethotoin
    • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Mephenytoin
    • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Phenytoin
    • Extended capsules (U.S. and Canada)
    • Prompt capsules (U.S.)
    • Oral suspension (U.S. and Canada)
    • Chewable tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Fosphenytoin
    • Injection (U.S. and Canada)
  • Phenytoin
    • Injection (U.S. and Canada)


Because fosphenytoin is converted to phenytoin in your body, it has the same effects as those listed for phenytoin in the following sections.

Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • Cerebyx 2
  • Dilantin 4
  • Dilantin-125 4
  • Dilantin Infatabs 4
  • Dilantin Kapseals 4
  • Mesantoin 3
  • Peganone 1
  • Phenytek 4

In Canada -

  • Cerebyx 2
  • Dilantin 4
  • Dilantin-30 4
  • Dilantin-125 4
  • Dilantin Infatabs 4

Another commonly used name for phenytoin is diphenylhydantoin .


For quick reference, the following hydantoin anticonvulsants are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following medicines:
1. Ethotoin (ETH-oh-toyn)†
2. Fosphenytoin (fos-FEN-i-toyn)
3. Mephenytoin (me-FEN-i-toyn)†
4. Phenytoin (FEN-i-toyn)‡
† Not commercially available in Canada
‡ Generic name product may be available in the U.S.


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Anticonvulsants, Hydantoin: Before Using

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