Compare Dilantin vs. Tegretol

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

Dilantin (Phenytoin)

Prescription only

Tegretol (Carbamazepine)

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, stabilizes mood, and relieves nerve pain.

Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but interacts with many drugs.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 61 reviewsforTegretol
  • 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 tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
  • First-line option for trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain involving the face, head, and neck), and can relieve other types of nerve pain.
  • May be helpful in stabilizing mood for people with bipolar disorder.
  • 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.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
  • Higher risk of skin reactions compared to other antiepileptic medicines, ranging from mild to life-threatening rash.
  • Can cause blurry vision, dizziness, and upset stomach.
  • 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
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Not enough review data.Leave a review
61 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tegretol (Carbamazepine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Dilantin (Phenytoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
18possible side effects
  • Dizziness
  • Somnolence
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Ataxia
  • Constipation
  • Pruritus
  • Dry Mouth
  • Asthenia
  • Rash
  • Blurred vision
  • Speech Disorder
  • Hypertension
  • Tremor
  • Paresthesia
  • Thinking abnormal
  • Twitching
  • Vertigo
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Changes in blood cells
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Bone fractures due to weakened bones
    • History of osteoporosis
    • History of fractures
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Dilantin (Phenytoin) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious skin rash
    • People also taking Depakote
    • Asian ancestry
  • Blood disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
  • Pregnancy
  • Mental changes due to low sodium
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Tegretol (Carbamazepine) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings