Compare Lamictal vs. Tegretol

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

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Lamictal (Lamotrigine)

Prescription only

Tegretol (carbamazepine)

Prescription only
Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood.

Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 184 reviewsforLamictal
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
  • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
  • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
  • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
  • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
  • 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
  • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
  • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
  • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
  • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
  • 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
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Suspension
  • Chewable tablet
Price
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Reviews
184 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
58%
saiditworked well
18%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lamictal (Lamotrigine)?

Leave a review
61 reviews so far
56%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
36possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    38%
  • Headache
    28%
  • Diplopia
    28%
  • Ataxia
    22%
  • Nausea
    19%
  • Blurred vision
    16%
  • Somnolence
    14%
  • Rhinitis
    14%
  • Pharyngitis
    10%
  • Rash
    10%
  • Vomiting
    9%
  • Cough increased
    8%
  • Flu syndrome
    7%
  • Dysmenorrhea
    7%
  • Fever
    6%
  • Diarrhea
    6%
  • Incoordination
    6%
  • Insomnia
    6%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
  • Dyspepsia
    5%
  • Constipation
    4%
  • Tremor
    4%
  • Depression
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Vaginitis
    4%
  • Convulsion
    3%
  • Irritability
    3%
  • Speech disorder
    3%
  • Pruritus
    3%
  • Vision abnormality
    3%
  • Neck pain
    2%
  • Reaction aggravated (seizure exacerbation)
    2%
  • Anorexia
    2%
  • Arthralgia
    2%
  • Concentration disturbance
    2%
  • Amenorrhea
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Tegretol (carbamazepine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Serious skin rash
    • People also taking Depakote
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Increasing the dose too quickly
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Blood disorders
  • Meningitis
  • Interactions with birth control pills
    • Taking birth control pills
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly
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