Tegretol vs. Imitrex

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

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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.Treats migraine headaches. Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.
How it works
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.Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.
Type of medication
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
of people say Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
+19% vs. Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
+31% vs. Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
+6% vs. Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
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 »
  • Pain and other pressure sensations 4%
  • Paresthesia (all types) 3%
  • Atypical sensations 2%
  • Chest - pain/tightness/pressure and/or heaviness 1%
  • Pain - location specified 1%
  • Sensation warm/cold 1%
  • Other - pressure/tightness/ heaviness 1%
More Imitrex side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • 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 »
      • History of heart problems
      • High blood pressure
      • High cholesterol
      • Diabetes
      • Being overweight or obese
      • Smoking
      • History of heart problems
      • High blood pressure
      • High cholesterol
      • Diabetes
      • Being overweight or obese
      • Smoking
        • Patients taking SSRIs and SNRIs
        • History of high blood pressure
        • History of seizures
        Detailed Imitrex (Sumatriptan) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        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
        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
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        No specific food-related info.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
        • 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.
        • Comes in several forms. Ask your doctor if you should use the pill, nasal spray, patch, or injection.
        • A combination of forms can be used if symptoms do not improve.
        • The nasal spray and injectable forms work very quickly.
        • It's generally safe to use if you are pregnant.
        • Comes in a generic form, so it can be pretty cheap.
        Downsides and risks
        • 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.
        • The oral and nasal versions of Imitrex (Sumatriptan) have an unpleasant after-taste.
        • Does not prevent migraine headaches; it only treats them once they start.
        • Must wait 1 hour before using second injection.
        • Can cause rebound (more) headaches if Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is used too often.
        • Need to have your blood pressure checked often, especially if you're pregnant.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        • 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.
        • Take it as soon as your headache starts.
        • If you use the nasal spray, be sure to blow your nose before using it.
        • If you use the patch, put it on a dry area free of scars, tattoos, or other cuts and scrapes. Be sure to press the button to activate it.
        • If you use the injection, you can use a second injection if you still have a headache after an hour. If you have symptoms 2 hours after the injection, switch to the pill version.
        • Imitrex (Sumatriptan) can make you drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
        • Lie down in a dark room after taking Imitrex (Sumatriptan) to help ease the pain.
        Learn more
        More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about ImitrexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert