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Drug Alert: Phenytoin sodium hard capsules

Drug Alert: Phenytoin sodium hard capsules

Added: 18 February 2014, 13:44

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) say that phenytoin sodium hard capsules should not be interchanged.  This is because slight changes in the way the drug is manufactured can affect seizure control.  Flynn Pharma Ltd have been the only drug company supplying these capsules to the UK market.  A new generic version of phenytoin sodium hard capsules, produced by NRIM Limited, is now being stocked by some of the major high street chains. 

It is important that you continue to take the same make of sodium phenytoin capsules, whichever one that is, so check the packaging of your anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).  If the packaging looks different speak to your pharmacist or GP and show them a copy of the MHRA patient information sheet.  

Your GP can already specify which brand of sodium phenytoin capsules you are to take. This way your pharmacist should only be able to dispense your usual medication.

If you have experienced a seizure because you have taken a different make of your AED please call our helpline on 0808 800 2200.  You (or your GP) should also report this using the Yellow Card scheme.  Go to or phone the Yellow Card hotline on 0808 100 3352.  Your details will be kept on record and this information will help inform future MHRA decisions about whether it is safe to interchange different makes of your AED. 

For more information see our factsheet ‘Making the most of your AEDs’