Compare Zanaflex vs. Tegretol

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

Zanaflex
(tizanidine)

Tegretol
(carbamazepine)

Relaxes your muscles. Zanaflex (tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasticity. Try other options before using this.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
6Zanaflex
Reviews for Zanaflex
81%
of people (All ages) say Zanaflex is worth it
73%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tegretol
56%
+25% better vs. Zanaflex
43%
+30% better vs. Zanaflex
23%
+4% better vs. Zanaflex
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZanaflexTegretol
  • Dry mouth 39%
  • Sleepiness 38%
  • Weakness 25%
  • Dizziness 12%
  • Urinary tract infection 3%
  • General infection 1%
  • Liver test abnormality 4%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Hay fever 1%
  • Abnormal speech 3%
More Zanaflex 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
ZanaflexTegretol
Zanaflex (tizanidine) is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist that works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasticity.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
ZanaflexTegretol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ZanaflexTegretol
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Used for
ZanaflexTegretol
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZanaflexTegretol
  • Taking maximum doses of Zanaflex (tizanidine)
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Currently on blood pressure control medications
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
Detailed Zanaflex (tizanidine) risks & warnings »
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Asian ancestry
  • History of depression
  • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Tegretol (carbamazepine) 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.

Interactions
ZanaflexTegretol
No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
Food
ZanaflexTegretol
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
No food related info.
Sleep
ZanaflexTegretol
  • Taking Zanaflex (tizanidine) can make you feel sleepy and dizzy, especially if you're taking other medications that can also make you feel sleepy, or if you're taking recreational drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Avoid driving or doing other tasks that require concentration until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
ZanaflexTegretol
  • Relieves muscle spasticity.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Available in a tablet or capsule form. It also comes in a capsule that can be opened and sprinkled in applesauce for people that can't swallow pills.
  • 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
ZanaflexTegretol
  • This isn't a first-choice muscle relaxing medication. Other drugs work better and have fewer side effects.
  • Takes over an hour to kick in and only lasts 3 to 6 hours.
  • Zanaflex (tizanidine) can lower blood pressure, so be careful if you are already on a blood pressure medication.
  • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
  • Elderly individuals have more side effects when taking Zanaflex (tizanidine).
  • 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
ZanaflexTegretol
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • The tablets are not the same as the capsules. This could mean differences in how your body reacts to it, or how it works for you.
  • If you have been on Zanaflex (tizanidine) for a long period of time, you should not stop this abruptly. This can result in rebound high blood pressure, muscle spasticity or fast heart beat. Talk to your doctor about how to slowly lower your dose.
  • 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 ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it