Dilantin is an anti-seizure medication that is associated with an increased risk of cerebellar degeneration or cerebellar atrophy. These severe long-term side effects of Dilantin can cause permanent brain damage.
Need a Texas Dilantin Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cerebellar atrophy or cerebellar degeneration, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is Dilantin?
Dilantin® (phenytoin) is a prescription anti-epileptic medication that helps prevent seizures. It works by reducing the spread of seizure activity in the brain.
What is the problem?
Cerebellar degeneration, or “cerebellar atrophy,” is a type of brain damage that is associated with Dilantin. It occurs when the brain loses neurons and other essential tissues. It can cause shrinkage of the entire brain, or in mild cases only a specific part of the cerebellum.
What is Cerebellar Atrophy?
Cerebellar atrophy causes degeneration or “atrophy” of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is a part of the brain that controls speech, posture, balance, coordination, and movements. It is located under the cerebrum and behind the brain stem.
Cerebellar Degeneration Symptoms
A person with cerebellar degeneration may have symptoms that resemble a stroke or seem like they are drunk, such as:
- Lack of balance
- Unsteady walk
- Slow movements
- Jerky movements in arms or legs
- Slurred speech
- Rapid eye movements
- Memory loss
What is the Problem?
Long-term treatment with Dilantin, especially at high doses, is associated with an increased risk of cerebellar atrophy in studies. The problem is that cerebellar atrophy is also common in people with long-term seizure disorders, such as epilepsy.
Treatment & Recovery
It is possible for people with cerebellar atrophy to undergo treatment if the disease is localized to a specific part of the brain. A doctor will typically decrease the dose of Dilantin or switch the patient to another medication. Unfortunately, some people never fully recover from cerebellar degeneration after taking Dilantin for many years. They may experience muscle ataxia (loss of muscle coordination) and disability.
Other Side Effects of Dilantin
Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is another severe side effect of Dilantin. This severe allergic skin reaction is more common in patients with Asian or African-American genetics, according to the FDA, but anyone who takes Dilantin can develop SJS. Patients may experience a severe rash, fever, loss of the top layer of skin, infection, or death.
Need a Dilantin Lawyer in Texas?
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The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Dilantin lawyers for a free lawsuit review.