Compare Tegretol vs. Topamax

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

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Tegretol (carbamazepine)

Prescription only

Topamax (topiramate)

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 and migraine headaches.

Topamax (topiramate) is very effective at preventing many types of seizures and migraines, but it can cause several severe side effects that can lead to stopping the medication.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 56 reviewsforTopamax
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.
  • Can lower your number of seizures and also prevent migraine headaches. This medicine can be used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures.
  • Doesn't need routine blood tests like similar medications.
  • Available in short-acting and long-acting forms.
  • Comes as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
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.
  • Can cause many severe side effects. People starting Topamax (topiramate) need to be monitored for these effects as soon as they start treatment.
  • This medicine can take 4 to 6 weeks for the full effects of this medication to kick in, especially for people taking it for migraines.
  • Children taking Topamax (topiramate) for long periods of time need to have their dose adjusted by their pediatrician as they grow.
  • At higher doses (ie. 400 mg/day), children may experience difficulty with concentration/attention, fever, flushing, and confusion.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Suspension
  • Chewable tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
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
56 reviews so far
52%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
36%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Topamax (topiramate)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Tegretol (carbamazepine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
39possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    26%
  • Loss of appetite
    24%
  • Fatigue
    16%
  • Injury
    14%
  • Nervousness
    14%
  • Personality disorder (behavior problems)
    11%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention
    10%
  • Weight loss
    9%
  • Aggressive reaction
    9%
  • Abnormal gait
    8%
  • Purpura
    8%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    8%
  • Viral infection
    7%
  • Impaired coordination
    6%
  • Nausea
    6%
  • Increased saliva
    6%
  • Muscle spasm
    5%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Difficulty with memory
    5%
  • Pneumonia
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Speech disorders/ related speech problems
    4%
  • Nose bleed
    4%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Urinary incontinence
    4%
  • Stomach flu
    3%
  • Psychomotor slowing
    3%
  • Skin disorder
    3%
  • Allergic reaction
    2%
  • Abnormal reflexes
    2%
  • Thirst
    2%
  • Pussing
    2%
  • Hair loss
    2%
  • Dermatitis
    2%
  • Increased hair growth
    2%
  • Red skin rash
    2%
  • Eye abnormality
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Leukopenia
    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
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Fever and inability to sweat
    • Children
  • Mental and cognitive changes
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Depakote
  • Kidney stones
    • Low-carb diet
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions
  • Vision problems
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Topamax (topiramate) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings