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This medication requires a prescription from your doctor.
Phenytoin 5% or 10% Cream
Phenytoin is an anticonvulsant that may be prescribed to be used topically for treating neuropathic pain. Oral antidepressants are often the first-line treatment for chronic neuropathic pain but may have undesirable side effects. This can lead to patients not taking their medication and subsequently feeling that the treatment does not work. A topically applied cream with phenytoin can treat neuropathic pain without the adverse effects associated with oral medications.
Phenytoin was first synthesized in 1908 but was mostly ignored after that until around 1937-1940. That is when its anti-convulsive properties were first discovered. It is has been sold commercially under multiple brand names including Dilantin in the form of capsules for treating certain types of seizures. Multiple medications that were first used to treat epilepsy or seizures have been found to be effective when applied topically to treat neuropathic pain such as gabapentin. Neuropathic pain is a particular kind of pain often caused by injury to the nerves or disease. It is usually chronic and does not respond to traditional pain medications.
A phenytoin cream for neuropathic pain must be made by a compounding pharmacy as the drug is only commercially available in capsules. Applied topically, phenytoin has also been used for wound healing and managing ulcers although there has been limited research conducted for these applications.