Compare Dilantin vs. Banzel

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


Dilantin (phenytoin)

Prescription only

Banzel (rufinamide)

Prescription only
Treats and prevents seizures.

Dilantin (phenytoin) is very good at treating and preventing seizures, but it has many drug interactions and some serious side effects.

Added to other medicines to control seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Banzel (rufinamide) is safe for children as young as 1 year old to control seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, but it cannot be taken by itself.

  • If you have trouble swallowing pills, Dilantin (phenytoin) is available as a chewable tablet or a liquid.
  • Dilantin (phenytoin) is available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Banzel (rufinamide) works well to control seizures when used with your other seizure medicines.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, Banzel (rufinamide) is available in liquid and tablets can be crushed or cut into smaller pieces.
  • Need to get regular blood tests while taking Dilantin (phenytoin) to make sure the medicine level is safe and effective in your body.
  • Can cause changes in your appearance, such as unwanted hair growth and enlargement of your gums.
  • If you have kidney problems, you’ll need regular blood tests to check your kidney function and to make sure Dilantin (phenytoin) levels in your blood don’t get too high.
  • Dilantin (phenytoin) can make other medications not work as well, including birth control.
  • Banzel (rufinamide) has to be taken with other medicines to control seizures.
  • Banzel (rufinamide) is for seizures caused by a very specific condition, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
  • The dose of Banzel (rufinamide) may need to be adjusted frequently. You have to stick to the schedule from your doctor on how much and when to take it.
  • You have to talk to your doctor if you're interested in stopping Banzel (rufinamide). Stopping Banzel (rufinamide) suddenly can make your seizures worse.
  • Some people may be allergic to Banzel (rufinamide).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
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Side effects
The Dilantin (phenytoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
18possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Double vision
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty controlling eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Vomiting
  • Movement coordination problems
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Back pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Balance problems
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Severe skin reactions
    • Asian ancestry
  • Serious liver damage
    • First 2 months of taking Dilantin (phenytoin)
  • Changes in blood cell counts
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Dilantin (phenytoin) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal behavior
    • Taking other medicines to control seizures
  • Sleepiness and movement problems
  • Heart problems
    • Familial short QT syndrome
  • Allergic reactions
    • Children under 12 years of age
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Banzel (rufinamide) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings