Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Brand name: Phenytoin Sodium (Sandoz) TM

Active ingredients: phenytoin

What it is used for

Control of status epilepticus, tonic-clonic (grand mal), psychomotor seizures and the prevention of seizures occuring during or following neurosurgery. Phenytoin will prevent or effectively decrease the incidence and severity of convulvsive seizures in a high percentage of cases, with patients exhibiting little tendency to become resistant to its action. Besides its effectiveness in controlling seizures, phenytoin frequently improves the mental condition and outlook of epileptic patients. It has also been used in the treatment of certain cardiac arrhythmias, particularly in those patients who do not respond to convential antiarrhythmic agents or to cardioversion. Phenytoin serum level determinations may be necessary for optimal dosage adjustments (see dosage and administation).

How to take it

The way to take this medicine is: Intravenous. This medicine or fluids is given through a needle or tube (catheter) inserted into a vein.

  • Store below 25 degrees Celsius
  • Protect from Light
  • Shelf lifetime is 18 Months.

You should seek medical advice in relation to medicines and use only as directed by a healthcare professional.

Always read the label. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

Visual appearance

Clear , colourless solution

Food interactions

For the active ingredient phenytoin

  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Do not take calcium, aluminum, magnesium or Iron supplements within 2 hours of taking this medication.
  • Take with food to increase bioavailability and reduce irritation.

Do I need a prescription?

This medicine is available from a pharmacist and requires a prescription. It is Schedule 4 : Prescription Only Medicine.

Over 65?

This medicine contains the active ingredients:

If you are over 65 years of age, there may be specific risks and recommendations for use of this medicine. Please discuss your individual circumstances with your pharmacist, doctor or health professional. For more information read our page on medication safety for older people.

Pregnant or planning a pregnancy?

For the active ingredient phenytoin

You should seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist about taking this medicine. They can help you balance the risks and the benefits of this medicine during pregnancy.

Download leaflet

For side effects, taking other medicines and more

Download consumer medicine information leaflet (pdf) from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website

Reporting side effects

You can help ensure medicines are safe by reporting the side effects you experience.

You can report side effects to your doctor, or directly at www.tga.gov.au/reporting-problems

Back to top back to top

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo