Compare Dilantin vs. Depakote

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Dilantin (Phenytoin)

Prescription only
Prevents seizures.

Dilantin (Phenytoin) is effective at preventing seizures, but has many drug interactions and side effects. If your blood tests show that you have the right amount of Dilantin (Phenytoin) levels, you’ll have a lower chance of getting side effects.

Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood.

Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) is good long-term prevention for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines, but can cause weight gain.

4.4/ 7 average rating with 97 reviewsforDepakote
Upsides
  • Dilantin (Phenytoin) is effective at preventing seizures, and treating seizures in an emergency.
  • Available in an oral suspension and chewable tablets if you have trouble swallowing capsules.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with absence, tonic-clonic, and complex partial seizures.
  • One of the first-line options to stabilize mood for people with bipolar disorder.
  • Helpful in preventing frequent migraine headaches.
Downsides
  • Need to get blood tests regularly to make sure Dilantin (Phenytoin) has safe and effective levels in your body.
  • Can cause changes in your appearance, such as unwanted hair growth, enlargement of the gums, and coarsening of your facial features.
  • If you have kidney problems, your dose and kidney function will have to be checked regularly to make sure Dilantin (Phenytoin) levels don’t get too high.
  • Can make many other medicines less effective, including birth control.
  • Can cause upset stomach, hair loss, weight gain, sleepiness, and tremor.
  • Can cause liver damage, so it's probably not safe if you already have liver problems.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Sprinkle
  • Liquid
Price
Lowest price near you
$22.42
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Lowest price near you
$293.48
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Reviews
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97 
46%
think this treatment is worth it
40%
think this treatment works well
27%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex)?

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Side effects
The Dilantin (Phenytoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Nausea
    48%
  • Headache
    31%
  • Asthenia
    27%
  • Vomiting
    27%
  • Somnolence
    27%
  • Tremor
    25%
  • Dizziness
    25%
  • Abdominal Pain
    23%
  • Diplopia
    16%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Skin reactions

    People of Asian ancestry

  • Serious liver damage

    Starting Dilantin (Phenytoin) within the first two months

  • Cardiovascular risk with fast IV infusions

    Infusing Dilantin (Phenytoin) too fast

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    History of depression

  • Bone fractures due to weakened bones

    History of osteoporosis

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Withdrawal seizures

    Stopping Dilantin (Phenytoin) suddenly

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Liver damage

    Children under age 2

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    History of depression

  • Mental changes due to high ammonia

    History of metabolic disorders

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Low body temperature

    People also taking Topamax

  • Withdrawal seizures

    Stopping Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) suddenly

See more detailed risks and warnings