Compare Tegretol vs. Keppra

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

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Tegretol (carbamazepine)

Prescription only

Keppra (levetiracetam)

Prescription only
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
Prevents seizures.

Keppra (levetiracetam) is effective for preventing seizures in people with epilepsy and has fewer drug interactions than its alternatives.

4.5/ 5 average rating with 21 reviewsforKeppra
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Keppra (levetiracetam) is effective at lowering the frequency of various types of seizures.
  • Keppra (levetiracetam) is available in liquid form or dissolving tablets if you have trouble swallowing pills.
  • Compared to other seizure medications, Keppra (levetiracetam) has fewer side effects and drug interactions, and usually does not require monitoring blood levels.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Must be taken on time so that there are consistent levels of the drug in your body.
  • Keppra (levetiracetam) may not be the best drug to take if you have a history of mood problems, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
  • If you have kidney problems, your dose will need to be adjusted and your doctor will check your kidney function regularly.
  • Due to its effects on your balance, Keppra (levetiracetam) may not be appropriate for the elderly.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Suspension
  • Chewable tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Oral disintegrating tablet
Price
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Reviews
61 reviews so far
56%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?

Leave a review
21 reviews so far
33%
saidit'sworth it
81%
saiditworked well
33%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Keppra (levetiracetam)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Tegretol (carbamazepine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
13possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
    12%
  • Neck pain
    8%
  • Inflammation of the back of throat
    7%
  • Feeling off balance
    5%
  • Flu symptoms
    5%
  • Depression
    5%
  • Anxiety
    3%
  • Depressed mood
    2%
  • Double vision
    2%
  • Excessive sleepiness
    2%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    2%
  • Irritability
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Life-threatening skin reactions
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Blood disorders
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Keppra (levetiracetam) suddenly
  • Psychiatric side effects
    • History of psychiatric problems
    • Ages less than 18
See more detailed risks and warnings