Occasionally, a healthcare provider may prescribe Dilantin for nerve pain treatment. However, since little research has been conducted on whether the drug is safe and effective for treating nerve pain, Dilantin can be used only as an "off-label" treatment. It is important to keep in mind that the full risks of using Dilantin for nerve pain are not known.
An Overview of Dilantin for Nerve Pain
Dilantin® (phenytoin) is a prescription medication approved to treat seizures in people with epilepsy. However, like many other seizure medications, it may also be effective for nerve pain treatment (though it is not approved for this use). This means that when prescribed for nerve pain, Dilantin is being used "off-label."
Nerve Pain and Dilantin
There are several different types of pain. Nerve pain can be one of the most bothersome and frustrating types of pain. Nerve pain usually results from damage to a nerve, which causes the nerve to send pain signals to the brain (even though there is often no physical cause for the pain). Nerve damage can be caused by infections (such as shingles), other medical conditions (such as diabetes or trigeminal neuralgia), tumors, or physical damage (from injury or surgery).
Most healthcare providers who recommend Dilantin for nerve pain do so based on their own clinical experience, as little research is available on this subject. Research is needed to confirm that Dilantin is safe and effective for nerve pain treatment. It is important to remember that Dilantin is not approved for the treatment of nerve pain, and the full risks of Dilantin for this use are not known.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Dilantin [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer Inc;2013 February.
Dilantin-125 [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2009 April.
Dilantin Infatabs [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2006 September.
Dilantin Kapseals [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2006 September.
Dilantin Suspension [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2006 September.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click