Compare Tegretol vs. Dilantin

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

Tegretol
(carbamazepine)

Dilantin
(phenytoin)

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.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.
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Coupons for Tegretol
Best available price for 60 (200mg) tablets of tegretol
Coupons for Dilantin
Best available price for 90 (100mg) capsules of dilantin
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.48Tegretol
Reviews for Tegretol
56%
of people (All ages) say Tegretol is worth it
43%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Dilantin (phenytoin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TegretolDilantin
  • 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 »

We haven’t found good data for Dilantin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Dilantin »
How it works
TegretolDilantin
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.Dilantin (Phenytoin) is an antiepileptic medication. It prevents seizures by stabilizing brain cells and lowering abnormal communication within the brain.
Type of medication
TegretolDilantin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
TegretolDilantin
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
TegretolDilantin
Risk factors for serious side effects
TegretolDilantin
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Asian ancestry
  • History of depression
  • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Tegretol (carbamazepine) risks & warnings »
  • People of Asian ancestry
  • Starting Dilantin (Phenytoin) within the first two months
  • Infusing Dilantin (Phenytoin) too fast
  • History of depression
  • History of osteoporosis
Detailed Dilantin (phenytoin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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
TegretolDilantin
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
No interactions related info.
Kidneys and liver
TegretolDilantin
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
TegretolDilantin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
TegretolDilantin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
TegretolDilantin
  • 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.
  • Can cause loss of coordination, confusion, uncontrollable eye movements, and unwanted hair growth while on this.
  • If you’re taking supplements, let your doctor know. You’ll likely have to space out the supplements and Dilantin (Phenytoin) so they don’t interact.
  • If you start having skin rashes or thoughts of suicide, tell your doctor immediately.
  • Makes many drugs less effective, so make sure your doctor has a complete list of what you’re taking.
  • If you need to stop taking Dilantin (Phenytoin), do so over at least one week to prevent withdrawal seizures.
Learn more
More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about DilantinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Dilantin (phenytoin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it