Compare Dilantin vs. Keppra

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

Dilantin
(phenytoin)

Keppra
(levetiracetam)

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. Keppra (Levetiracetam) is effective for preventing seizures in people with epilepsy. Compared to other anti-seizure medications, it has few drug interactions and you don’t need to get your levels checked.
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Coupons for Dilantin
Best available price for 90 (100mg) capsules of dilantin
Coupons for Keppra
Best available price for 60 (500mg) tablets of keppra
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Dilantin (phenytoin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Keppra
33%
+50% better vs. Dilantin
81%
-14% worse vs. Dilantin
33%
+33% better vs. Dilantin
Have you used Keppra (levetiracetam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DilantinKeppra

We haven’t found good data for Dilantin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Dilantin »
  • Headache 4%
  • Muscle weakness 6%
  • Vomiting 3%
  • Any side effect 3%
  • Common cold 3%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Infection 5%
  • Irritability 12%
  • Neck pain 6%
  • Sore throat 7%
More Keppra side effects »
How it works
DilantinKeppra
Dilantin (Phenytoin) is an antiepileptic medication. It prevents seizures by stabilizing brain cells and lowering abnormal communication within the brain.Keppra (Levetiracetam) is an antiepileptic medication. It prevents seizures by helping regulate neurotransmitters in the brain.
Type of medication
DilantinKeppra
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
DilantinKeppra
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Used for
DilantinKeppra
Risk factors for serious side effects
DilantinKeppra
  • People of Asian ancestry
  • Starting Dilantin (Phenytoin) within the first two months
  • Infusing Dilantin (Phenytoin) too fast
  • History of depression
  • History of osteoporosis
Detailed Dilantin (phenytoin) risks & warnings »
  • History of depression
  • Starting the first month of therapy
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Stopping Keppra (Levetiracetam) suddenly
Detailed Keppra (levetiracetam) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Kidneys and liver
DilantinKeppra
  • 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.
  • If you have kidney problems, your dose may need to be adjusted. Your doctor will check your kidney function regularly.
Sleep
DilantinKeppra
No sleep related info.
  • You can experience drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, or respiratory infections while on this.
  • Taking Keppra (Levetiracetam) can make you feel sleepy, dizzy, and affect your coordination. Avoid activities that require you to be alert, such as driving a car or operating machinery, until you know how Keppra (Levetiracetam) affects you.
Upsides and benefits
DilantinKeppra
  • 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, including partial-onset, generalized tonic-clonic, and myoclonic seizures.
  • Unlike many other medications for epilepsy, this has very few drug interactions, so your other medicines shouldn't be affected.
  • If you have trouble swallowing tablets, Keppra (Levetiracetam) is also available as an oral solution.
  • You won’t need to get regular blood tests to check the drug levels in your body.
Downsides and risks
DilantinKeppra
  • 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.
  • It’s important to take your dose on time so that Keppra (Levetiracetam) has consistent levels in your body.
  • May not be the best drug to take if you have a history of psychiatric issues, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
  • If you have kidney problems, your dose may need to be adjusted. Your doctor will check your kidney function regularly.
  • Keppra (Levetiracetam) is only FDA-approved to be taken with other medicines to treat epilepsy.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DilantinKeppra
  • Can cause loss of coordination, confusion, uncontrollable eye movements, and unwanted hair growth while on this.
  • If you’re taking supplements, let your doctor know. You’ll likely have to space out the supplements and Dilantin (Phenytoin) so they don’t interact.
  • If you start having skin rashes or thoughts of suicide, tell your doctor immediately.
  • Makes many drugs less effective, so make sure your doctor has a complete list of what you’re taking.
  • If you need to stop taking Dilantin (Phenytoin), do so over at least one week to prevent withdrawal seizures.
  • You can experience drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, or respiratory infections while on this.
  • If you start having skin rashes or changes in your mood, tell your doctor immediately.
  • If you need to stop taking Keppra (Levetiracetam), do so over at least one week to prevent withdrawal seizures.
  • If you are taking the oral solution, use the measuring device given with the medicine. Don’t use your household tablespoons to measure.
  • Don’t crush or cut this medicine before taking it, or else you’ll have dangerously high levels of this drug in your body.
Learn more
More about DilantinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Dilantin (phenytoin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about KeppraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Keppra (levetiracetam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it