Compare desipramine vs. Tegretol

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

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Norpramin (desipramine)

Prescription only

Tegretol (carbamazepine)

Prescription only
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.

Treats seizures and epilepsy.

Tegretol (carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but reduces how well many other medications work.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 61 reviewsforTegretol
Upsides
  • 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-choice option for trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain involving the face, head, and neck), and can relieve other types of nerve pain.
  • Equetro is helpful in stabilizing mood for people with bipolar disorder.
  • Available as a generic in many forms: pill, extended-release pill, suspension, and chewable tablet.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Takes several weeks to feel the full effects.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
  • Higher risk of skin reactions compared to other antiepileptic medicines, ranging from mild to life-threatening rash.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Can't take the suspension form with other liquid medications.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Suspension
  • Chewable tablet
Price
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Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
61 reviews so far
56%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Norpramin (desipramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Tegretol (carbamazepine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Higher risk of suicide
    • People under age 24
  • Possible bipolar disorder
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Fentanyl
    • Tramadol
    • Buspirone
    • ADHD medicines
    • Triptans
  • Changes to the heartbeat
    • History of heart disease
  • Higher risk for seizures
    • History of seizures
    • History of brain damage or alcohol withdrawal
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Life-threatening skin reactions
    • Carrying HLA-B*1502 gene
    • Asian ancestry
  • Blood disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • History of allergic reaction to Trileptal (oxcarbamazepine)
  • Pregnancy
  • Mental changes due to low sodium
    • Age 65 or older
    • Dehydration
    • Taking diuretics (water pills)
See more detailed risks and warnings