Compare desipramine vs. Tegretol

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

Norpramin
(desipramine)

Tegretol
(Carbamazepine)

Stabilizes your mood. Norpramin (desipramine) is not a first choice for treating depression because of its effects on the heart, but it can be good if other medicines haven't worked.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
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Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
56%
+56% better vs. Norpramin (desipramine)
43%
+43% better vs. Norpramin (desipramine)
23%
-23% worse vs. Norpramin (desipramine)
Have you used Tegretol (Carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
desipramineTegretol

The desipramine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about desipramine side effects »
  • Dizziness 32%
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Vomiting 15%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 15%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Itching 6%
  • Dry mouth 5%
  • Muscle weakness 4%
  • Rash 3%
More Tegretol side effects »
How it works
desipramineTegretol
Norpramin (desipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It increases the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, two chemicals that regulate mood.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
desipramineTegretol
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
desipramineTegretol
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Used for
desipramineTegretol
Risk factors for serious side effects
desipramineTegretol
  • People under age 24
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Fentanyl
    • Tramadol
    • Buspirone
    • ADHD medicines
    • Triptans
    • History of heart disease
    • History of seizures
    • History of brain damage or alcohol withdrawal
    Detailed Norpramin (desipramine) 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

        The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

        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
        desipramineTegretol
        No interactions related info.
        • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
        Upsides and benefits
        desipramineTegretol
        • Norpramin (desipramine) is available in generic and in many different strengths, so the dose can be more customized.
        • Norpramin (desipramine) has fewer side effects than similar tricyclic antidepressants.
        • 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
        desipramineTegretol
        • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't recommended if you or your family has heart disease, seizures, or glaucoma.
        • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't a first choice for depression because it has more side effects than other antidepressants.
        • In some people, Norpramin (desipramine) can make you sleepy. In other people, Norpramin (desipramine) can keep you awake.
        • If you have diabetes, Norpramin (desipramine) can make your blood sugar go up.
        • Not recommended in children under 12 years of age.
        • 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
        desipramineTegretol
        • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Norpramin (desipramine) affects you since it can make you feel sleepy.
        • Talk to your doctor right away if your mood suddenly darkens and you want to hurt yourself while taking Norpramin (desipramine).
        • If you're being switched to Norpramin (desipramine) from monoamine oxidase inhibitors, you'll need to wait 2 weeks before you can start it.
        • Don't stop taking Norpramin (desipramine) suddenly without talking to your doctor first.
        • 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 desipramineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Tegretol (Carbamazepine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it