A Remarkable Treatment for Anxiety and Other Ailments

A Remarkable Treatment for Anxiety and Other Ailments

Julian Whitaker, MD

I am not a spokesman for the benefits of prescription drugs. However, I am not against using prescription drugs when they work and are safe. One drug which fits that description is Dilantin (phenytoin), which is best known as an anti-seizure medication.

Dilantin stabilizes the electrical impulses in the central nervous system, thus allowing normal mental and nervous activity. It has been extensively studied and shown to markedly reduce anxiety, defuse self-defeating anger, lengthen “short” tempers, increase the power of concentration, and improve almost every other aspect of mental functioning.

In addition to its remarkable therapeutic capabilities, Dilantin has an incredible safety record. Since its discovery in 1938, millions of people have taken Dilantin continuously for years: the equivalent of over 250 million patient years of experience, representing two trillion doses. Viewed from this perspective, Dilantin is far safer than most drugs on the market!

Dilantin Treats a Broad Range of Conditions

An 11-year-old hyperactive boy suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a two-year “Ritalin failure,” began taking small doses of Dilantin. He immediately rose to the top quarter of his class in behavior, and began to do his homework without prompting or help. His mother commented that he now seems like a normal kid, not a drugged ADHD kid.

A 44-year-old real estate agent had such problems with anxiety and depression that three to five days a month, she simply couldn’t get out of bed. On Dilantin, all her symptoms cleared.

A 35-year-old woman with bulimia and binge eating was in therapy for five years to no avail. With Dilantin, her binges stopped. She reported, “It’s unbelievable. For the first time since I was 12 years old, I can walk into the kitchen and not be afraid of the refrigerator.”

One Man’s Crusade

Jack Dreyfus, founder of the Dreyfus Fund (one of the nation’s leading mutual funds), credits Dilantin with the elimination of severe attacks of anxiety and depression that almost destroyed his career. In 1965, he created the Dreyfus Health Foundation to promote this drug so that others can reap similarly profound benefits. Over the years, he has spent more than 80 million dollars of his own money funding research and trying to get the medical profession to realize that Dilantin is much, much more than an anticonvulsant.

He founded the Dreyfus Health Foundation, which collected over 23,000 published reports dealing with the use of Dilantin for conditions other than seizures. He published abstracts of 1,000 of these reports and cited over 3,000 and sent them to every doctor in the country.

An Overlooked Drug

You would think that this wealth of information on the potential uses of Dilantin would excite the medical profession. Well, it hasn’t, and the reasons for this professional blindness are complex. Perhaps the most powerful reason is that when the wide range of benefits of Dilantin began to surface in the 1950s and 1960s, the death knell for the drug had already sounded: Its patent had run out. Parke Davis, the manufacturer of Dilantin, was not about to research expanded uses of an unpatented drug. Nor was any other drug manufacturer. These drug companies were off developing patentable, profitable benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax, and spending millions of advertising dollars promoting them in medical journals. In many conditions, these patented drugs do not work nearly as well as Dilantin and, by comparison, are terribly toxic.

Even though it is not highly promoted, Dilantin is available and can be prescribed for treatment of anxiety. Ask your doctor to work with you on this one, and if you can’t find one who will, come see us at the Whitaker Wellness Institute.


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  • Dreyfus, J. The Story of a Remarkable Medicine. Lantern Books, New York, NY, 2003.

Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healing, click here.

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