Compare Tegretol vs. Keppra

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.Prevents seizures. Keppra (Levetiracetam) is effective for preventing seizures in people with epilepsy. Compared to other anti-seizure medications, it has few drug interactions and you don’t need to get your levels checked.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
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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 »
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Nasal congestion 7%
  • Muscle weakness 6%
  • Neck pain 6%
  • Decreased appetite 6%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Infection 5%
  • Aggression 5%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Headache 4%
More Keppra side effects »
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.Keppra (Levetiracetam) is an antiepileptic medication. It prevents seizures by helping regulate neurotransmitters in the brain.
Type of medication
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
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 depression
          • Starting the first month of therapy
          • Taking with alcohol
          • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
          • Stopping Keppra (Levetiracetam) suddenly
          • History of psychiatric problems
          • Ages less than 18
          Detailed Keppra (Levetiracetam) 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.
          • If you have kidney problems, your dose may need to be adjusted. Your doctor will check your kidney function regularly.
          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.
          • Lowers the frequency of seizures, including partial-onset, generalized tonic-clonic, and myoclonic seizures.
          • Unlike many other medications for epilepsy, this has very few drug interactions, so your other medicines shouldn't be affected.
          • If you have trouble swallowing tablets, Keppra (Levetiracetam) is also available as an oral solution.
          • You won’t need to get regular blood tests to check the drug levels in your body.
          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.
          • It’s important to take your dose on time so that Keppra (Levetiracetam) has consistent levels in your body.
          • May not be the best drug to take if you have a history of psychiatric issues, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
          • If you have kidney problems, your dose may need to be adjusted. Your doctor will check your kidney function regularly.
          • Keppra (Levetiracetam) is only FDA-approved to be taken with other medicines to treat epilepsy.
          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.
          • You can experience drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, or respiratory infections while on this.
          • If you start having skin rashes or changes in your mood, tell your doctor immediately.
          • If you need to stop taking Keppra (Levetiracetam), do so over at least one week to prevent withdrawal seizures.
          • If you are taking the oral solution, use the measuring device given with the medicine. Don’t use your household tablespoons to measure.
          • Don’t crush or cut this medicine before taking it, or else you’ll have dangerously high levels of this drug in your body.
          Learn more
          More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about KeppraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert