Compare Dilantin vs. Trileptal

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

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Dilantin (phenytoin)

Prescription only

Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine)

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.

Prevents seizures.

Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine) is effective at preventing seizures and you don’t need to get regular blood tests to make sure it’s effective, but it has many drug interactions.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine) is effective at lowering the frequency of seizures, especially for people with partial seizures.
  • If you have trouble swallowing tablets, Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine) is also available as an oral solution.
  • You won’t need to get regular blood tests to check the drug levels in your body.
  • Available in a generic form.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • It’s important to take your dose on time so that Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine) has steady levels in your body.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
  • Can cause difficulty concentrating, tiredness or drowsiness, and problems with coordination.
  • If you have kidney problems, your dose may need to be adjusted. Your doctor will check your kidney function regularly.
  • Being pregnant lowers the levels of Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine), so the medicine might not be as effective at preventing seizures.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Dilantin (phenytoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
21possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    22%
  • Nausea
    16%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Any adverse effect
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Vomiting
    7%
  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
    7%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Dyspepsia
    5%
  • Ataxia
    5%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Falling Down NOS
    4%
  • Pain Back
    4%
  • Amnesia
    4%
  • Coordination Abnormal
    4%
  • Tremor
    4%
  • Epistaxis
    4%
  • Infection Chest
    4%
  • Sinusitis
    4%
  • Rash
    4%
  • Vision Abnormal
    4%
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
  • Mental changes due to low sodium
    • Age 65 or older
    • dehydration
    • Taking diuretics (water pills)
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Had allergic reaction to Tegretol (carbamazepine)
  • Life-threatnening skin reactions
    • Asian ancestry
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine) suddenly
  • Changes in blood cells
  • Bone disorders
    • History of osteoporosis
    • History of fractures
  • Liver problems
  • Low thyroid levels
    • Children
See more detailed risks and warnings