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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.178571428571429Lamictal
Reviews for Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
67%
of people say Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is worth it
58%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
58%
9% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
42%
16% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
21%
2% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
Side effects
LamictalTegretol
  • Double vision 41%
  • Dizziness 27%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 18%
  • Blurred vision 15%
  • Nausea 14%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Incoordination 4%
More Lamictal side effects »
  • Dizziness 32%
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Nausea 19%
  • Vomiting 15%
  • Itching 6%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Dry mouth 5%
  • Muscle weakness 4%
  • Blurred vision 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
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Available as
LamictalTegretol
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Used for (click to learn more)
LamictalTegretol
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lamictal (Lamotrigine)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
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
        • Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly
        Detailed Lamictal (Lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
        • People also taking Depakote
        • Asian ancestry
          • History of depression
          • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
            • Age 65 years or older
            • Stopping Tegretol (Carbamazepine) suddenly
            Detailed Tegretol (Carbamazepine) risks & warnings »
            Pregnancy category
            LamictalTegretol
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            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.

            See the FDA package insert
            DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            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.

            See the FDA package insert
            Alcohol
            No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
            Food
            • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
            No specific food-related info.
            Kidneys and liver
            No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
            Sex
            No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
            Sleep
            No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
            Weight
            No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-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
            More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert