Phenytoin or diphenylhydantoin is both an anticonvulsant and an antiarrhythmic drug forming part of the class of drugs known as class 1C antiarrhythmics (sodium channel blockers). Phenytoin calms overstimulated nerves in the brain and heart. It is prescribed to treat epilepsy and cardiac arrhythmia.
Phenytoin and the benefit of DNA analysis
The rate at which phenytoin is processed within your body varies from one individual to another. This means that the efficacy and side effects of phenytoin can be predicted to some extent on the basis of your genes.
Preventive DNA analysis can therefore be an important tool in optimising your medication.
Phenytoin and HLA-B*1502
As a result of genetic variations, your body may not produce certain proteins or may produce them with an abnormal composition, potentially changing the way in which drugs are processed.
It is known, for example, that mutations in the HLA-B*1502 gene may be partly responsible for triggering a hypersensitivity reaction to a phenytoin treatment. If you are HLA-B*1502 positive, your risk of experiencing side effects is significantly increased. Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with phenytoin.
Variations in the CYP2C9 gene can also increase the risk of side effects.
Read more about HLA-B*1502 »
Also known as
Fenytoïne suspensie FNA, Diphantoïne-Z, Epanutin, Diphantoïne, Diphenylhydantoin, Fenitoina, Phentytoin, Phenytoine, Phenytoinum, Epanutin, Eptoin, Dilantin