Neurontin vs. Tegretol

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

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Treats tingling and burning nerve pain. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.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.
How it works
Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an antiepileptic and nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.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
GABA analog
Prescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Neurontin (Gabapentin)
of people say Neurontin (Gabapentin) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
+1% vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
+3% vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
-2% vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
Side effects
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Drowsiness 16%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 7%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 6%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Hostility 5%
  • Involuntary eye movement 4%
  • Double vision 4%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Dry mouth 4%
More Neurontin 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 »
Risk factors for serious side effects
    • Children ages 3 to 12
      • Taking with alcohol or drugs
      • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
      Detailed Neurontin (Gabapentin) 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
          • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
          No specific alcohol-related info.
          • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
          No specific food-related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
          • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
          • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
          • 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
          • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
          • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
          • 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
          • Side effects are common, but usually manageable.
          • Don't drive while taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) until you know how the medication affects you.
          • Neurontin and generic forms of Gabapentin have the same ingredients as Gralise and Horizant, but are dosed differently. Make sure you know which form you're taking since they are used for different purposes.
          • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
          • Stop taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) slowly over at least one week to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
          • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
          • Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
          • Don't use if pregnant.