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Side Effects of Fosphenytoin (Cerebyx)


Side Effects of Fosphenytoin (Cerebyx)

Fosphenytoin, also known as the brand Cerbeyx is an anticonvulsant. Cerebyx works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures.


Cerebyx treatment is only for a short time that occurs in less than five days when other forms of phenytoin cannot be given. It is most commonly used in the acute treatment of convulsive status epilepticus (an epileptic seizure of greater than five minutes or more). It is usually given by injection. Cerebyx is also used to prevent or treat seizures that may occur during or after brain surgery.


This medication interacts with many other drugs making it important to discuss medical conditions and all current medications taking with a physician. Cerebyx is not recommended by the FDA if you are in very poor health, drink alcohol or have a history of alcohol abuse; or have a history of mental or mood problems. There may be other reasons not for not taking this medication, therefore, informing your provider is necessary.

Serious Side Effects

The FDA lists the severe side effects of Cerebyx are:


  • ecchymosis (skin discoloration from bleeding underneath)
  • vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels)
  • ataxia (loss of full control of body movements)
  • paresthesia (burning sensation)
  • skin discoloration

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Pharmacogenetics emerged as an important field once the human genome was sequenced. Pharmacogenetics is the study of variation in the genes that are responsible for processing (metabolizing) just about any drug on the market. Pharmacogenetics research shows that many individuals have variations in drug metabolizing genes, resulting in variation in the enzymes that the genes encode. Variation in the enzymes can mean that you may not be able to metabolize a particular drug, for example, or that you cannot take a particular drug because of gene variations.

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Another consequence of gene variation is that more than the recommended dosage of a particular medicine is needed. Once a physician has the results of the Rxight® from MD Labs, he or she can determine genetic susceptibility to adverse side reactions for over 200 drugs and over-the-counter products on the market. To potentially avoid or lessen side effects, ask a physician to prescribe the Rxight® test. This test uses the results of important medical advances in the field of pharmacogenetics research.


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Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry