Compare Neurontin vs. Dilantin

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

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Neurontin (gabapentin)

Prescription only

Dilantin (phenytoin)

Prescription only
Treats tingling and burning nerve pain.

Neurontin (gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that is now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 620 reviewsforNeurontin
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.

Upsides
  • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
  • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • Neurontin (gabapentin) can cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion. There is a higher risk for these side effects if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
  • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (gabapentin) can cause seizures.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Extended release
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
620 reviews so far
57%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
20possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    28%
  • Drowsiness
    21%
  • Swelling in the limbs
    8%
  • Abnormal physical weakness
    6%
  • Diarrhea
    6%
  • Infection
    5%
  • Dry mouth
    5%
  • Constipation
    4%
  • Nausea
    4%
  • Headache
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    3%
  • Stomach pain
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Worse coordination
    3%
  • Thinking abnormal
    3%
  • Decreased vision
    3%
  • Gas
    2%
  • Weight gain
    2%
  • Abnormal gait
    2%
  • Lack of coordination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Dilantin (phenytoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Neurologic and psychiatric side effects (children)
    • Children ages 3 to 12
  • Serious allergic reaction and multiple organ problems
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking Neurontin (gabapentin) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that cause dizziness and/or drowsiness
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Neurontin (gabapentin) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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