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Tegretol vs. Keppra

  • 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 Keppra the Same Thing?

Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Keppra (levetiracetam) are anticonvulsants used to treat seizures.

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

Side effects of Tegretol and Keppra that are similar include dizziness or drowsiness.

Side effects of Tegretol that are different from Keppra include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, swollen tongue, loss of balance or coordination, or unsteadiness.

Side effects of Keppra that are different from Tegretol include weakness, infection, loss of appetite, stuffy nose, tiredness, sleepiness, accidental injury, hostility, nervousness, and weakness.

Both Tegretol and Keppra may interact with other seizure medications, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, or blood thinners.

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

Keppra may also interact with alcohol, digoxin, and probenecid.

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 Keppra?

Common side effects of Keppra include:

  • drowsiness,
  • weakness,
  • infection,
  • loss of appetite,
  • stuffy nose,
  • tiredness, and
  • dizziness.

Side effects of Keppra in children include

  • sleepiness,
  • accidental injury,
  • hostility,
  • nervousness, and
  • weakness.

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 Keppra?

Keppra (levetiracetam) is an anti-epileptic drug (AED) (antoconvulsant) often used in conjunction with other drugs to treat types of seizures in people with epilepsy.

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 Keppra?

Keppra may interact with alcohol.

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 Keppra Be Taken?

Keppra (levetiracetam) is available in pills in the following dosages and colors: 250 mg (blue), 500 mg (yellow), 750 mg (orange), and 1,000 mg (white). Keppra (levetiracetam) is also available as a clear, colorless grape-flavored liquid at a concentration of 100 mg/mL. Drug interactions include phenytoin, valproate, oral contraceptives, digoxin, warfarin, and probenecid. Keppra (levetiracetam) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Keppra (levetiracetam) is excreted in breast milk. Women must talk to their doctors to decide whether to discontinue nursing or the drug.

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

FDA. Keppra Drug Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/021035s078s080,021505s021s024lbl.pdf

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