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Tegretol vs. Dilantin

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Are Tegretol and Dilantin the Same Thing?

Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Dilantin (phenytoin) are anticonvulsants used to treat seizures.

Tegretol is also used to treat nerve pain such as trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy, and to treat bipolar disorder.

Side effects of Tegretol and Dilantin that are similar include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, or loss of balance or coordination.

Side effects of Tegretol that are different from Dilantin include dry mouth, swollen tongue, or unsteadiness.

Side effects of Dilantin that are different from Tegretol include headache, constipation, spinning sensation, slurred speech, swollen or tender gums, sleep problems (insomnia), nervousness, tremors, or rash.

Both Tegretol and Dilantin may interact with other seizure medications, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, or steroids.

Tegretol may also interact with theophylline, antibiotics, drugs to treat tuberculosis, antifungal medications, blood thinners, cancer medicines, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV or AIDS medications, medications to treat depression or mental illness, medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection, or thyroid replacement medications.

Dilantin may also interact with alcohol, stomach acid reducers, sedatives, antidepressants, St. John's wort, vitamins and mineral supplements that contain folic acid, phenothiazines, disulfiram, methylphenidate, sulfa drugs, sucralfate, molindone, phenobarbital, antibiotics, digoxin, furosemide, or theophylline.

You may have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop using Tegretol suddenly.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Tegretol?

Common side effects of Tegretol include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • dry mouth,
  • swollen tongue,
  • loss of balance or coordination, or
  • unsteadiness.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Dilantin?

Common side effects of Dilantin include:

  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • drowsiness,
  • slurred speech,
  • loss of balance or coordination,
  • swollen or tender gums,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • nervousness,
  • tremors, or
  • rash.

What Is Tegretol?

Tegretol (carbamazepine) is an anticonvulsant used to treat seizures and nerve pain such as trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Tegretol is also used to treat bipolar disorder. Tegretol is available in generic form.

What Is Dilantin?

Dilantin (phenytoin) is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant, used to control seizures. Dilantin is available in generic form.

What Drugs Interact With Tegretol?

Tegretol may interact with other seizure medications, HIV or AIDS medications, antibiotics, antidepressants, medications to treat mental illness, or blood thinners.

Tegretol may also interact with theophylline, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, drugs to treat tuberculosis, antifungal medications, cancer medicines, heart or blood pressure medications, medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection, steroids, or thyroid replacement medications.

You may have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop using Tegretol suddenly.

What Drugs Interact With Dilantin?

Dilantin may interact with stomach acid reducers, sedatives, antidepressants, estrogen hormone replacement, phenothiazines, disulfiram, methylphenidate, sulfa drugs, carbamazepine, sucralfate, molindone, phenobarbital, valproic acid, divalproex sodium, steroids, antibiotics, digoxin, furosemide, or theophylline. Tell your doctor all medications you use. During pregnancy, Dilantin should be used only when prescribed. It may harm a fetus. Since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm both a pregnant woman and the fetus, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. Hormonal birth control may not work if taken with this medication. Discuss birth control with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Abrupt withdrawal of Dilantin in epileptic patients may precipitate status epilepticus.

How Should Tegretol Be Taken?

The starting dose of Tegretol to treat epilepsy in adults and children over 12 years of age is 200 mg twice daily for tablets and XR tablets, or 1 tsp 4 times daily for suspension (400 mg/day). Usual maintenance dose is 800-1200 mg daily. The starting dose to treat trigeminal neuralgia is 100 mg twice daily for tablets or XR tablets, or ½ tsp 4 times daily for suspension, for a total daily dose of 200 mg. Control of pain is maintained in most patients with 400-800 mg daily. Consult your doctor for pediatric doses.

How Should Dilantin Be Taken?

Patients may be started on one 100-mg Dilantin Extended Oral Capsule three times daily. For most adults, the maintenance dosage is one capsule three to four times a day. The initial pediatric dose is 5 mg/kg/day in two or three equally divided doses, with dosage individualized to a maximum of 300 mg daily. Daily maintenance dosage is usually 4 to 8 mg/kg.

Reviewed on 4/15/2019

SOURCE:

Novartis. Tegretol Product Information.

https://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/sites/www.pharma.us.novartis.com/files/tegretol.pdf

Pfizer. Dilantin Product Information.

https://www.dilantin.com

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