Dilantin / Phenytek Side Effects Attorneys
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
The anticonvulsant phenytoin sodium, marketed as Phenytek and Dilantin, is a commonly used antiepileptic, and is an option in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (inflammation of the fifth cranial nerve) and certain cardiac arrhythmias. It works in controlling certain types of seizures, such as temporal lobe and grand mal seizures, by slowing down the impulses in the brain that cause them.
A potentially serious adverse effect prompted the US Food Drug Administration (FDA) to announce in September 2008 that it was investigating cases in which intravenously administered Dilantin led to a condition known as Purple Glove Syndrome. In one important study, nearly six percent of patients receiving intravenous Dilantin developed the condition.
The disorder begins as a dark purple or pale blue coloration surrounding the injection site and progresses within the next 16 hours into a spread of the coloration throughout the affected limb as edema begins to develop. In some cases, the symptoms will gradually subside and the affected limb heals in two to four weeks. In other cases, however, the affected tissue dies and, in severe cases, amputation of the limb may become necessary.
Another potential side effect is actually known as Fetal Dilantin Syndrome, which is really a group of defects caused by the drug's teratogenicity (ability to cause birth defects). Approximately one third of children whose mothers took phenytoin during pregnancy develop minor limb and face malformations. But a smaller number of children have growth problems, developmental delay, mental retardation, heart defects, cleft lip, and other serious birth defects.
More recently, the FDA has turned its attention to another set of major side effects of Dilantin, namely Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and other severe skin reactions in Asian patients positive for HLA-B*1502, a human leukocyte antigen. TEN and SJS begin with one to several days of coughing, fever, a sore throat, and malaise. In most cases, mucosal membranes are then affected. Eventually, blisters, bleeding, and skin lesions can make it painful to eat, drink, or urinate, and both conditions are potentially fatal.
Other potential side effects associated with taking phenytoin include suicide ideation, transient nervousness, ataxia, nystagmus, slurred speech, mental confusion, decreased coordination, dizziness, insomnia, motor twitching, headache, chorea, dystonia, tremor, asterixis, nausea, vomiting, constipation, toxic hepatitis, liver damage, skin rashes, bullous, exfoliative dermatitis, purpuric dermatitis, lupus erythematosus, thrombocytopenia, granulocytopenia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia , benign lymph node hyperplasia, lymphoma, pseudolymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, enlargement of the lips, coarsening of facial features, gingival hyperplasia, hypertrichosis, Peyronie's disease, hypersensitivity syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, immunoglobulin abnormalities, and periarteritis nodosa.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been injured by taking, or having taken, Dilantin or other formulations that include, or are metabolized, into phenytoin, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a qualified pharmaceutical injury attorney for an evaluation of your case.