Carbamazepine for Epilepsy | MyEpilepsyTeam

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Carbamazepine is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to control partial-onset seizures with complex symptomatology, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and other generalized seizures. In people with epilepsy, carbamazepine is used to prevent most types of seizures except absence seizures. Carbamazepine is sold under the brand names Tegretol and Carbatrol.

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant, or in other words, a drug used to prevent and control seizures. It is believed that carbamazepine works in cases of epilepsy by inhibiting nerve signals in the brain.

How do I take it?
Prescribing information states that carbamazepine is taken orally as a tablet, capsule, or suspension (liquid).Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of carbamazepine and gradually increase the dosage.

Do not stop taking Carbamazepine suddenly. If you decide to stop taking carbamazepine, consult your physician for a plan to reduce your dosage gradually.

Carbamazepine should be taken exactly as prescribed by a physician.

Side effects
The FDA-approved label for carbamazepine lists common side effects including dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea, and vomiting. Some of these side effects may fade as your body acclimates to carbamazepine.

Rare but serious side effects listed for carbamazepine include severe and potentially-fatal skin reactions, low blood cell counts, heart failure, liver failure, and fetal harm.

Call your doctor if you experience chest pain, vision problems, yellowing of the eyes or skin, confusion, or the sensation of being out of contact with reality while taking carbamazepine.

Rarely, some people experience neurological symptoms including depression or suicidal thoughts while taking carbamazepine. Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects.

Carbamazepine can also cause serious allergic reactions. The risk for allergic reactions is highest among people with Asian ancestry. If you are taking carbamazepine, get medical help immediately if you experience a rash, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, throat, eyes, lips, or tongue. Your doctor may order a genetic test to gauge your risk for allergic reactions to carbamazepine before prescribing it.

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you are certain you understand how carbamazepine affects you.

Carbamazepine may reduce the effectiveness of some forms of birth control, including oral contraceptives and implants. You may need to adopt another form of birth control while using carbamazepine.

Ask your doctor whether you need to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking carbamazepine.

Drinking alcohol while taking carbamazepine can intensify some side effects.

For more details about this treatment, visit:

Carbamazepine —

Carbamazepine (Oral Route) — Mayo Clinic

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