May 11, 2022

Side effects of Dilantin: cerebellar atrophy and cerebellar degeneration

What is cerebral atrophy?

Cerebral atrophy (brain atrophy) occurs when brain tissue degenerates.

When a tissue atrophies, it means that there are cells that are lost. In the case of the brain, this means that brain neurons and the connections between them are lost.

Brain atrophy can be generalized, meaning the whole brain has shrunk; or it may be focal, affecting only a certain area of ​​the brain. In focal cerebral atrophy, only the functions controlled by this area of ​​the brain are affected. [Source: BrainFacts.org]

Brain atrophy can be caused by a variety of diseases and injuries, including:

What is cerebellar atrophy?

Cerebellar atrophy is a type of focal cerebral atrophy marked by degeneration of the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain located below the cerebrum, behind the brainstem. It is also called cerebellar degeneration.

It is divided into two hemispheres. The cerebellum helps regulate voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech. This is what allows a fluid, balanced and precise movement.

Read more: Can Dilantin cause cerebellar atrophy?

What are the symptoms of cerebellar atrophy?

Damage to the cerebellum leads to lack of balance, slow movements, tremors, which causes tremors and unsteady eye movements. It can make certain physical tasks difficult and unstable. Symptoms of cerebellar atrophy resemble a stroke. A person with cerebellar degeneration may also appear drunk.

Symptoms of Cerebellar Atrophy include:

  • Unsteady and jerky gait, which often includes a shaking back and forth in the main part of the body
  • Slow, unsteady, jerky movements of the arms or legs
  • Slow and scrambled speech
  • Nystagmus: small rapid movements in the eyes
  • Memory loss

What causes cerebellar atrophy?

Cerebellar atrophy causes include strokes, multiple sclerosis, tumors, seizures and other cerebellar disorders. Cerebellar degeneration has also been linked to toxins in the brain from ethanol, chemotherapy treatments, and the drug Dilantin.

According to research on the link between cerebellar atrophy and Dilantin, cerebellar atrophy tends to occur in patients after long-term use of Dilantin and when serum levels of the drug are above the therapeutic range. However, cerebellar atrophy would also have occurred when the drug level appeared to be within the normal range.

Several studies have shown that cerebellar toxicity caused by long-term use of Dilantin can cause cerebellar atrophy.

A study published in 2003 found moderate to severe cerebellar atrophy to be a common Dilantin side effect that has been linked to long-term Dilantin use.

Studies have also shown that cerebellar degeneration can also affect children who take Dilantin medication to treat their epilepsy.

Since seizures can also cause brain atrophy, a 1994 study took this fact into account because patients taking Dilantin usually suffer from seizures. This study, which was the first to examine the link, found that patients exposed to Dilantin as a group had significantly smaller cerebella than unexposed patients.

Read more: Can dilatatin cause cerebellar atrophy?

How is cerebellar atrophy treated?

Recovery from cerebral atrophy and localized cerebellar atrophy would be possible when patients stop taking Dilantin. Withdrawal of Dilantin drug is monitored by a physician.

However, in some cases where there is chronic treatment with Dilantin toxicity that led to cerebellar atrophy, some of the injuries were permanent, especially the cerebellar ataxiawhich is the lack of muscle coordination.

Read more: Is reversal of cerebellar atrophy possible?

What is the life expectancy of cerebellar atrophy?

Life expectancy for cerebellar atrophy varies among patients, depending on potential underlying conditions they may have, as well as the condition that caused the brain damage.

Were the manufacturers aware of the side effects of Dilantin?

Despite Dilatin being marketed for decades, manufacturers were actually aware of Dilatin’s dangerous side effects. According to a lawsuit filed in October 2018, Dilantin maker Pfizer became aware of the elevated risks of cerebellar atrophy in 2009 but did not state it on the label until 2016.

What damages can be claimed for the side effects of Dilantin?

Since the manufacturers of Dilantin in the United States were well aware of the dangerous side effects of Dilantin, the victims in the United States can claim damages.

If you have contracted a disease or experience a side effect that can be directly linked to Dilantin, you may be entitled to damages.

Dilantin’s maker, Pfizer, has been at the forefront of numerous lawsuits, including a 2018 lawsuit that claimed Pfizer’s early knowledge of Dilantin’s links to brain atrophy. Another lawsuit settlement in 2004 involved $3.78 million paid to the family of a 9-year-old girl who died after contracting Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) following the administration of Dilantin.

Dilantin Cerebellar Atrophy Free Trial Review

Have you or a loved one suffered from cerebellar atrophy or cerebellar degeneration caused by long-term Dilantin side effects? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a Dilantin Cerebellar Atrophy Survey and seek compensation for your injuries.Fill out the form on this page or call 1-(855)-JONES-LAW (1-855-566-3752) to see if you qualify!


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