May 29, 2017
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Cerebyx Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive fosphenytoin (Cerebyx)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to fosphenytoin or phenytoin (Dilantin) or if you have certain serious heart conditions such as slow heartbeats, heart block, AV block, or Adams-Stokes syndrome (a heart rhythm disorder).

Fosphenytoin should not be used together with delavirdine (Rescriptor).

To make sure you can safely receive fosphenytoin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • diabetes;
  • low blood pressure;
  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system); or
  • if you drink large amounts of alcohol.

Patients of Asian ancestry may have a higher risk of developing a rare but serious skin reaction to fosphenytoin. Your doctor may recommend a blood test before you start the medication to determine your risk of this skin reaction.

FDA pregnancy category D. If possible before you receive fosphenytoin, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Fosphenytoin may cause harm to an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using fosphenytoin. Fosphenytoin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while receiving fosphenytoin.

If you become pregnant while using fosphenytoin, DO NOT STOP USING the medicine without your doctor's advice. Although fosphenytoin may harm an unborn baby, having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby.

Seizure control is very important during pregnancy. The benefit of preventing seizures may outweigh any risks posed by using fosphenytoin. Follow your doctor's instructions about using fosphenytoin while you are pregnant.

If you have received fosphenytoin during pregnancy, be sure to tell the doctor who delivers your baby about your fosphenytoin use. Both you and the baby may need to receive medications to prevent excessive bleeding during delivery and just after birth.

It is not known whether fosphenytoin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using fosphenytoin.

How is fosphenytoin given (Cerebyx)?

Fosphenytoin is injected into a muscle, or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving fosphenytoin in a clinic or hospital setting. Your heart function may also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). You will be watched closely for at least 20 minutes after receiving fosphenytoin, to be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects.

Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not stop using fosphenytoin without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures if you stop using fosphenytoin suddenly without medical advice.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using fosphenytoin.

Store in the refrigerator, do not freeze.

Do not use fosphenytoin if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Find tips and treatments to control seizures.