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Chronic heavy alcohol consumption of more than 30 units per day has been shown to reduce serum levels of phenytoin by about 1/3. In patients with only moderate or low alcohol consumption, no effect has been shown in serum phenytoin levels.
Phenytoin potentiates the effects of alcohol.
Patient advice (3)
- It is recommended that you limit yourself to one or two units of alcohol
per day. Half a pint of standard strength beer (4%) is 1 unit, one 175ml glass
of wine (12%) is 2% and one single pub measure of spirits (40%) is 1 unit.
Drinking may put you at risk of a seizure
- Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (1996), Drugs and alcohol: harmful cocktails?,
34 (5), 36-8.
- Hoppener RJ et al (1983), Epilepsy and alcohol: the influence of social
intake on seizures and treatment in epilepsy, Epilepsia, 24, 459-71.
- Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (Accesed 4/5/2014). Phenytoin
- Information for adults with epilepsy
Last reviewed 01/2018