Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.

Explore Community

Close

Health library

En Español

Phenytoin (Dilantin)

What is Phenytoin (Dilantin)?

Phenytoin (or Dilantin) is a medication used to treat epilepsy (seizure disorder). If taken by the mother in the first trimester, there is a small chance for a combination of birth defects known as the Fetal Hydantoin Syndrome, and that the baby will be born with some of the following health problems:

  • growth deficiency
  • developmental delay
  • cleft palate
  • certain facial characteristics
  • heart defects
  • genitourinary abnormalities
  • abnormalities of the fingers and nails

Dilantin crosses the placenta in such a way that the developing fetus receives a much higher dose of the medication than the mother is taking (the drug is metabolized differently). This is especially true when the medication is used during the first trimester of pregnancy.

When a woman with epilepsy is planning a pregnancy, it is important for her to meet with both her neurologist and her obstetrician before conception, to discuss the specific treatment to be used to control seizures while pregnant.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Medical Genetics

Proud sponsors

  • Indiana Fever
  • Indianapolis Indians
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
  • Indy Eleven
  • Indy Fuel

Health and wellness shopping

  • Home Health Medical online store for medical supplies and equipment
  • Wellspring Pharmacy
  • FigLeaf Boutique
  • Jasmine gift shop