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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   



Carbamazepine can cause a blood disorder. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, fever, or mouth sores. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to carbamazepine.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Carbamazepine is used to treat certain types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. It also relieves facial nerve pain.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Carbamazepine comes as a tablet, chewable tablet, and liquid to take by mouth. It is taken two to four times a day. To treat nerve pain, it is taken once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take carbamazepine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the liquid suspension well before you use it each time.

Continue to take carbamazepine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking carbamazepine without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Abruptly stopping the drug can cause seizures. Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually. This drug must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.

Other uses for this medicine

Carbamazepine also is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol withdrawal, restless leg syndrome, and a disease in children called chorea. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking carbamazepine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to carbamazepine or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other seizure medications, acetaminophen (Tylenol), astemizole (Hismanal), clarithromycin (Biaxin), danazol (Danocrine), diltiazem (Cardiazem), doxycycline (Vibramycin), erythromycin, haloperidol (Haldol), isoniazid (INH), lithium, medications for colds or allergies such as chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), medications for depression such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and fluoxetine (Prozac), oral contraceptives, propoxyphene (Darvon), sedatives such as phenobarbital, terfenadine (Seldane), theophylline (Theo-Dur), verapamil (Calan), and vitamins. Carbamazepine affects the action of other medications, and many medications can affect the action of carbamazepine. Tell your doctor and pharmacist everything you are taking.
  • do not take carbamazepine liquid at the same time as any other liquid medications.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver disease; glaucoma; high blood pressure; or a history of blood clots or blood disorders.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking carbamazepine, call your doctor immediately. Carbamazepine may harm the fetus.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking carbamazepine.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Carbamazepine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Carbamazepine may cause an upset stomach. Take carbamazepine with food or milk.

Avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking carbamazepine.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is within 4 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from carbamazepine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • hallucinations
  • insomnia
  • agitation
  • irritability (especially in children)
  • drowsiness
  • mental confusion
  • headache
  • difficulty coordinating movements
  • speech problems
  • dry mouth
  • mouth or tongue irritation
  • impotence

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • red, itchy skin rash
  • easy bruising
  • tiny purple-colored skin spots
  • bloody nose
  • unusual bleeding
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • mouth sores
  • irregular heartbeat
  • joint pain
  • faintness
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • seizures

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • unconsciousness
  • seizures
  • restlessness
  • muscle twitching
  • tremor
  • unsteadiness
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • irregular breathing
  • rapid or pounding heartbeat
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • urinary retention

What other information should I know?

Call your doctor if you continue to have seizures or convulsions while taking this medication.

If you give this drug to a child, observe and keep a record of the child's moods, behavior, attention span, hand-eye coordination, and ability to solve problems and perform tasks requiring thought. Ask the child's teacher to keep a similar record. This information can help the child's doctor determine whether to continue the drug or to change the dose or drug.

Wear identification (Medic Alert) indicating medication use and epilepsy.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT