Dilantin is a remarkable multipurpose drug that has been the subject of more than 8,000 published papers. It is the most common treatment for epilepsy, and is prescribed under the generic name phenytoin and its trade name, Dilantin. It normalizes and improves mental functioning in general and improves concentration, learning, and thinking in particular.
Discovered in 1938, Dilantin was used as an anticonvulsant and is still heralded as the most effective drug for this purpose ever discovered. Although scientists are just beginning to understand the electrical nature of humans and other animals, most people know that our nerves are electrical in nature. Thinking, memory, and pain are all electrically generated. Dilantin stabilizes the electrical activity in the body at the level of the cell membrane. Dilantin stops convulsions, which are electrical in nature. When cells show too much or too little electrical activity, phenytoin brings them back into balance. In addition, when the brain cells are functioning normally, the drug can calm the individual and increase energy levels. So phenytoin acts as a kind of medical equivalent to meditation, promoting calm and harmony.
Because Dilantin influences electric currents, it can affect thinking and recall. Scientists don’t really understand how phenytoin works; however, they postulate that it influences electromagnetic fields, which polarize the electrically charged elements in the cells. This results in a more effective organizational structure, so that cell and brain functioning is improved.
One of the major advantages of Dilantin is it stabilizes and normalizes the nervous system without acting as either a stimulant or a depressant. The result is that one can concentrate, learn, and remember better. Prolonged concentration can be exhausting. One effect of Dilantin is that it delays the onset of fatigue and thereby reduces errors that accompany fatigue. In this regard, phenytoin’s effect is similar to that of stimulants, but it is not a stimulant and has none of the side effects common to stimulants.
Generally Dilantin’s effectiveness for a wide variety of disorders is unknown to most doctors. Most doctors think it is useful only in maintaining epilepsy, and are not knowledgeable about its tremendous impact on general cognitive functioning, mood moderation, and concentration.
Dilantin does have some significant but infrequent side effects when taken in regular dosages. Some people report tremors, insomnia, headaches. dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Dr. Pelton indicates that phenytoin can occasionally cause liver toxicity during the first few weeks of use. Some people, mostly children with epilepsy, report gum problems.
A major consideration for most people using Dilantin is that it can disturb absorption of vitamin D and folic acid, which are essential for health. Dr. Pelton recommends that people on phenytoin therapy take supplements of vitamin D, calcium, and folic acid.
Dilantin is available, by prescription, in capsule, tablet, and liquid forms. The original patent has expired, so it is available under its generic name, phenytoin, as well as under its trade name Dilantin in the United States, and Epanutin, Epamin, Eplin, Idantoin, and Aleviatan in other countries.