For children, the starting dose of Dilantin is based on weight: 5 mg per kg per day (about 2.3 mg per pound of body weight each day), divided into two or three doses per day. The starting amount is the same for all Dilantin products. Your child's healthcare provider typically will measure the amount of medication in the blood (using a blood test) after a week or two and adjust your child's dosage as necessary. In emergencies, a higher Dilantin dosage may be used.
Some considerations to keep in mind when taking Dilantin include the following:
- Dilantin comes in extended-release capsules, chewable tablets, and an oral suspension. These products are not interchangeable.
- The medicine can be taken with or without food. If Dilantin upsets your stomach, try taking it with food. It is important that you take it consistently the same way (either with food or without food).
- Make sure to shake the suspension form thoroughly before each dose.
- Chewable Dilantin Infatabs (tablets) can be swallowed whole.
- Do not chew, crush, or open Dilantin Kapseals (capsules), as they are extended-release products.
- Dilantin should not be given at the same time as a "tube feeding," since this may decrease the level of medicine in your blood.
- The medication should be taken at the same times each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the drug to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Dilantin will not work if you stop taking it.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or Dilantin dosing in general, talk with your healthcare provider, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the drug without discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Dilantin Withdrawal).