Compare Lamictal vs. Tegretol

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

Lamictal
(lamotrigine)

Tegretol
(carbamazepine)

Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood. Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.11Lamictal
Reviews for Lamictal
66%
of people (All ages) say Lamictal is worth it
58%
say it works well
18%
say it's a big hassle
184 reviews
Have you used Lamictal (lamotrigine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tegretol
56%
+10% better vs. Lamictal
43%
+15% better vs. Lamictal
23%
+5% better vs. Lamictal
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LamictalTegretol
  • Dizziness 25%
  • Headache 9%
  • Diplopia 21%
  • Ataxia 16%
  • Nausea 9%
  • Blurred vision 11%
  • Rhinitis 5%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Pharyngitis 1%
  • Rash 5%
More Lamictal side effects »
  • Dizziness 32%
  • Somnolence 19%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Vomiting 15%
  • Ataxia 15%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Pruritus 6%
  • Dry Mouth 5%
  • Asthenia 4%
  • Rash 3%
More Tegretol side effects »
How it works
LamictalTegretol
Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to calm nerve activity in the brain.Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to block certain kinds of nerve activity to reduce seizures and pain.
Type of medication
LamictalTegretol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LamictalTegretol
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Used for
LamictalTegretol
Risk factors for serious side effects
LamictalTegretol
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Increasing the dose too quickly
  • Taking birth control pills
Detailed Lamictal (lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Asian ancestry
  • History of depression
  • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Tegretol (carbamazepine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Interactions
LamictalTegretol
No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
Food
LamictalTegretol
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
No food related info.
Upsides and benefits
LamictalTegretol
  • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
  • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
  • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
  • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
LamictalTegretol
  • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
  • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
  • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
  • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LamictalTegretol
  • Follow dose adjustments set by your doctor to minimize skin rash.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Report rash, blurry vision, fever, persistent headache, or neck stiffness to your doctor.
  • Makes hormonal birth control less effective.
  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests.
  • Report confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising to your doctor.
  • Takes up to 5 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
Learn more
More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lamictal (lamotrigine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it