Dilantin (phenytoin) is a popular seizure drug that has been on the market since the 1940s. Though it is often the first drug doctors reach for when treating patients for seizures, research shows that the drug may come with serious and debilitating side effects.

If you took Dilantin and experienced symptoms of cerebellar atrophy, you may have a legal claim.

Studies show that Dilantin may cause cerebellar atrophy or the shrinking and damage of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls motor skills and movement, as well as other functions. When cerebellar atrophy occurs, patients can experience a range of severe symptoms.



Symptoms of cerebellar atrophy include:

  • tremors
  • unsteady walking
  • lack of balance
  • slurred speech
  • rapid eye movements
  • impaired intelligence

Though cerebellar atrophy may also be caused by other factors such as multiple sclerosis, chronic alcohol abuse, stroke, degenerative disorders, and aging, as Dilantin is such a common drug and may be a cause of the condition, if you experience symptoms of cerebellar atrophy, they may be caused by earlier Dilantin use.

In those taking Dilantin, be aware of any cerebellar degeneration symptoms they might exhibit, which can be similar to the symptoms of a stroke. In some cases, those experiencing cerebellar degeneration may even appear drunk.

Experts say that the risk of developing cerebellar atrophy increases if a patient used Dilantin over a long period of time. Very high levels of Dilantin can cause Dilantin toxicity, which can in extreme cases lead to seizures or a coma.

Happily, if Dilantin treatment is stopped (while monitored by a doctor) when a patient displays symptoms of cerebellar atrophy, sometimes brain function can return in the cerebellum and a patient’s condition can improve. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes symptoms of cerebellar atrophy can be chronic and worsen over time.



Usually, whether or not cerebellar degeneration is ultimately reversible depends on what the underlying cause of the disease is. This varies, and can include other diseases, alcohol abuse, aging, or the use of certain medications, like Dilantin. Whether or not cerebellar degeneration caused by Dilantin can be reversed depends in part on how severe the disease has already gotten, as well as from person to person.

If you took Dilantin and experienced symptoms of cerebellar atrophy, filing a Dilantin lawsuit could help you receive compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial injury you incurred as a result of taking the drug.

Patients have claimed that the drug’s manufacturer knew about the dangers of the drug for many years, but continued to market it to patients. Some patients claim that the manufacturer intentionally concealed information about the drug’s side effects from medical professionals and patients.

In a Dilantin lawsuit, if the drug company is found guilty of negligence, fraud, or endangering patients, they could be liable for the patient’s injury.

In 1994, the Archives of Neurology published the first study that examined the link between Dilantin use and cerebellar atrophy, noting that patients who had taken Dilantin had significantly smaller cerebella than patients who had not taken Dilantin.



In 2000, a patient report was published in the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, that detailed the case of four-year-old boy who experienced symptoms of cerebellar atrophy that was allegedly linked to high levels of phenytoin in his system. He was reportedly being treated with the drug for epilepsy.

In the almost two decades since then, research has continued to link Dilantin use with symptoms of cerebellar atrophy. Nonetheless, the drug still remains on the market, possibly endangering the health and lives of thousands of patients. Patients are claiming that the drug’s manufacturers knew or should have known of the evidence showing that Dilantin may cause cerebellar atrophy, but did nothing, in the interest of continuing to sell the drug and rake in profits at the expense of patients’ health.

Filing a Dilantin Lawsuit

A growing number of patients are coming forward, claiming that they were not adequately warned about the adverse side effects of Dilantin, including cerebellar atrophy.

If you or someone you love has suffered from side effects of Dilantin such as cerebellar atrophy, you may be able to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation. Of course, filing a lawsuit cannot undo the pain and suffering caused by these complications, but it can at least help to alleviate the financial burden incurred by medical expenses, lost wages, and more. The prospect of litigation can be daunting, especially after suffering a serious side effect, so Top Class Actions has laid the groundwork for you by connecting you with an experienced Dilantin attorney. Consulting an attorney can help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the complexities of litigation, and maximize your potential compensation.

In general, phenytoin lawsuits are filed individually by each plaintiff and are not class actions.

Do YOU have a legal claim? Fill out the form on this page now for a free, immediate, and confidential case evaluation. The attorneys who work with Top Class Actions will contact you if you qualify to let you know if an individual Dilantin lawsuit or Dilantin class action lawsuit is best for you. Hurry — statutes of limitations may apply.

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Join a Free Dilantin, Phenytoin Cerebral Atrophy Class Action Lawsuit Investigation

If you or a loved one were injured by Dilantin/phenytoin side effects, you may have a legal claim. Fill out the form for a free case evaluation.

An attorney will contact you if you qualify to discuss the details of your potential case.

PLEASE NOTE: If you want to participate in this investigation, it is imperative that you reply to the law firm if they call or email you. Failing to do so may result in you not getting signed up as a client or getting you dropped as a client.