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Table of Contents > Drug > Carbamazepine Print

Carbamazepine

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Carbatrol®;Epitol®;Equetro®;TEGretol®;TEGretol®-XR
    • Brand Names: Canada: Apo-Carbamazepine®;Dom-Carbamazepine;Mapezine®;Mylan-Carbamazepine CR;Nu-Carbamazepine;PMS-Carbamazepine;Sandoz-Carbamazepine;Taro-Carbamazepine Chewable;Tegretol®;Teva-Carbamazepine

    Uses
    • It is used to stop or control seizures.
    • It is used to treat manic low mood (depression).
    • It is used to treat restless leg syndrome.
    • Carbamazepine calms the brain.
    • It helps steady mood.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Take as you have been told, even if you are feeling better.
    • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • Long-acting products: Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • You may sprinkle contents of capsule on applesauce. Do not chew.
    • Chewable tablet: Chew or crush well. Mix crushed tablet with food. Do not swallow it whole.
    • There is a liquid (suspension) if you cannot swallow pills. Shake it well before use. Mix with an equal part of water before you drink it.
    • Those who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from light.
    • Protect capsules and tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Unsafe blood cell count problems may happen. Report any fever, sore throat, mouth sores, infections, easy bruising, or purple "splotches" on your skin to your doctor right away.
    • Very bad rashes have been reported. People of Asian descent are most likely to get these. Talk with your doctor right away if you get a rash.
    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.
    • Please read the medication guide.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to carbamazepine or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have bone marrow disease.
    • If you have taken isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine in the last 14 days. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (eg, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine) must be stopped 14 days before this drug is started. Taking both at the same time could cause risky high blood pressure.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • Do not run out of this drug.
    • Wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
    • Follow laws about driving with a seizure problem.
    • If you have been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
    • If you have kidney disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have mental illness, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Do not take other liquid drugs within 2 hours of this liquid drug.
    • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
    • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work to stop pregnancy. Use 2 kinds of birth control while taking this drug.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Change in balance.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Dry mouth. Good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help. See a dentist often.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
    • Big change in balance.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Yellow skin or eyes.
    • Not able to eat.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • If seizures are worse or not the same after starting this drug.
    • Very bad mouth irritation.
    • Very bad skin irritation.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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