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Tegretol vs. Lamictal

  • 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 Lamictal the Same Thing?

Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Lamictal (lamotrigine) 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 Lamictal that are similar include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, or loss of balance or coordination.

Side effects of Tegretol that are different from Lamictal include swollen tongue or unsteadiness.

Side effects of Lamictal that are different from Tegretol include shaking (tremors), sleepiness, tired feeling, headache, blurred or double vision, upset stomach, stomach pain, changes in menstrual periods, back pain, sore throat, runny nose, or sleep problems (insomnia).

Both Tegretol and Lamictal may interact with other seizure medications.

Tegretol may also interact with theophylline, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, 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, steroids, or thyroid replacement medications.

Lamictal may also interact with olanzapine.

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 Lamictal?

Common side effects of Lamictal include:

  • dizziness,
  • shaking (tremors),
  • sleepiness,
  • tired feeling,
  • drowsiness,
  • loss of coordination,
  • headache,
  • double vision,
  • blurred vision,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • upset stomach,
  • stomach pain,
  • dry mouth,
  • changes in menstrual periods,
  • back pain,
  • sore throat,
  • runny nose, or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

Serious side effects of Lamictal you should report to your doctor include:

  • rash,
  • worsening depression or suicidal thoughts, and
  • flu-like symptoms such as body aches or swollen glands.

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 Lamictal?

Lamictal (lamotrigine) is an anticonvulsant used alone or in combination with other antiseizure medications for treating certain types of seizures.

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 Lamictal?

Lamictal may interact with carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, or rifampin.

Lamictal may also interact with hormonal forms of birth control (pills, injections, implants, or skin patches), divalproex, oxcarbazepine, or valproic acid.

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 Lamictal Be Taken?

  • Lamictal doses depend on the condition being treated and on whether it is used alone or in combination with other antiseizure medications.
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. Lamictal Drug Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/020241s037s038,020764s030s031lbl.pdf

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