The reference site for Carbamazepine

Carbamazepine (CBZ), sold under the tradename Tegretol among others, is a medication used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain.

WHAT IS Carbamazepine?

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizing drug, used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

It is also used to reduce or suppress seizuress, treat schizophrenia, trigeminal neuralgia,  and relieve certain neurogenic pain such as trigeminal neuralgia.

It is sold under the brand-names Biston®, Calepsin®, Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Finlepsin®, Sirtal®, Stazepine®, Tegretol®, Telesmin®, Timonil®.

 

Brand Name(s): Atretol; Depitol; Epitol;Tegretol

CAS nº: 298-46-4
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Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to carbamazepine and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Carbamazepine was discovered by chemist Walter Schindler at J.R. Geigy AG (now part of Novartis) in Basel, Switzerland, in 1953. Schindler then synthesized the drug in 1960, before its anti-epileptic properties had been discovered.

Carbamazepine was first marketed as a drug to treat trigeminal neuralgia in 1962. It has been used as an anticonvulsant in the UK since 1965, but only approved in the U.S. by the FDA since 1974.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizing drug, used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

This medecine is also used to reduce or suppress seizuress, treat schizophrenia, trigeminal neuralgia,  and relieve certain neurogenic pain such as trigeminal neuralgia.

It is sold under the brand-names Biston®, Calepsin®, Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Finlepsin®, Sirtal®, Stazepine®, Tegretol®, Telesmin®, Timonil®.

Mechanism: it decreases abnormal electrical impulses through nerve cell pathways by inhibiting the activity of sodium channels in neurons. Consequently, it blocks the repetitive impulses that trigger seizures. In the United States, brand names for carbamazepine include Tegretol, Carbatrol, and Epitol. This medication is classified into the following categories: anticonvulsant, antimanic, and antineuralgic.

Other uses for this medicine

Carbamazepine is also sometimes used to treat mental illnesses, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, drug and alcohol withdrawal, restless legs syndrome, diabetes insipidus, certain pain syndromes, and a disease in children called chorea.

However, It is important that you talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your particular condition.

Dosage and using this medicine

Carbamazepine comes as a tablet, a chewable tablet, an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, an extended-release capsule, and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth.

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

You may open the extended-release capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

The carbamazepine chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

Carbamazepine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Carbamazepine can cause eye changes. Your doctor may recommend having your eyes examined regularly while you are taking this medicine.

Do not stop taking the medication even if you feel better. It is important to take carbamazepine regularly to prevent seizures from recurring. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. Call your doctor promptly if this medicine does not seem to be working as well in preventing your seizures.

Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking carbamazepine, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking carbamazepine.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with carbamazepine and cause unwanted side effects. Do not change the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.

It may take 4 weeks or more for you to start feeling better. Do not stop using carbamazepine without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking Carbamazepine:

Tell your doctor if you have a history of serious side effects from any drug; liver disease; heart disease or congestive heart failure; lupus; a history of mental illness; or glaucoma. You may not be able to take carbamazepine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Do not take carbamazepine if you have a history of allergic reaction to a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), doxepin (Sinequan), desipramine (Norpramin), amoxapine (Asendin), imipramine (Tofranil), or nortriptyline (Pamelor); a history of bone marrow suppression; or if you have taken an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) in the past 14 days.

Carbamazepine pertains to FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use carbamazepine without your doctor’s consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective non-hormone form of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, or spermicidal gel) while you are taking carbamazepine.

Carbamazepine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Carbamazepine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Do not drink alcohol while taking carbamazepine. Alcohol may increase drowsiness caused by carbamazepine. It may also increase the risk of seizures.

Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Carbamazepine may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sun screen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for 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?

Possible side effects from carbamazepine include:

drowsiness
motor-coordination impairment
upset stomach

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

feeling unsteady
mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain
confusion, headache, blurred vision
feeling agitated or depressed
ringing in your ears
dry mouth, swollen tongue
joint or muscle pain, leg cramps

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

an allergic reaction (hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat)
a red, blistering, peeling skin rash
fever, sore throat, body aches, flu symptoms
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness
white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion
swelling of your ankles or feet
nausea, stomach pain
loss of appetite
dark urine
clay-colored stools
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
urinating less than usual

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and 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 an 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:

shallow breathing
fast heartbeat
nausea
vomiting
urinating less or not at all
muscle twitches
restlessness
seizures
tremors
slurred speech
staggering walk
feeling light-headed or fainting

Product Images

PICTURES OF CARBAMAZEPINE PILLS

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of carbamazepine that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes and manufacturers.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: TEGRETOL®

Strength(s): 100 MG

Imprint: TEGRETOL 52 52

Manufacturer: NOVARTIS

Name: CARBAMAZEPINE

Strength(s): 100 MG

Imprint: TARO 18

Manufacturer: TARO PHARM USA

Name: CARBAMAZEPINE

Strength(s): 200 MG

Imprint: 143 R

Manufacturer: ACATVIS ELIZABETH


Name: TEGRETOL®

Strength(s): 200 MG

Imprint: TEGRETOL 27 27

Manufacturer: NOVARTIS

Name: CARBAMAZEPINE

Strength(s): 200 MG

Imprint: T 109

Manufacturer: TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS USA

Name: EPITOL®

Strength(s): 200 MG

Imprint: EPITOL 93 93

Manufacturer: IVAX PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: TEGRETOL®

Strength(s): 200 MG

Imprint: TEGRETOL 27 27

Manufacturer: NOVARTIS

 

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