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Tegretol (Generic)

Tegretol (carbamazepine) is used in the treatment of seizure disorders, including certain types of epilepsy. It is also prescribed for trigeminal neuralgia (severe pain in the jaws) and pain in the tongue and throat.


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Uses

Carbamazepine is used in the treatment of simple and complex partial seizures and in generalized seizures of the grand mal type. It is not used to treat petit mal seizures. Carbamazepine also is used to treat a painful nerve condition of the face called trigeminal neuralgia. Equetrol is used to treat bipolar disorder.
In addition, some doctors use carbamazepine to treat alcohol withdrawal, cocaine addiction, and emotional disorders such as depression and abnormally aggressive behavior. The drug is also used to treat migraine headache and "restless legs."

How to take

Carbamazepine may be taken with or without food. Carbamazepine is excreted by the kidney and metabolized by the liver and dosages may need to be lowered in patients with liver or kidney dysfunction. Drug blood levels of carbamazepine can be followed.

Side effects

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Tegretol.
·1 Side effects especially at the start of treatment may include:
Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, unsteadiness, vomiting
·2 Other side effects may include:
Allergic reactions, blood pressure changes, bone marrow suppression, hives, rash, sensitivity to light, swelling

Precaution

Before taking carbamazepine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other anti-seizure medications (e.g., phenobarbital, phenytoin) or tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine); or if you have any other allergies. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have decreased bone marrow function (bone marrow depression), a certain blood disorder (acute intermittent porphyria). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: high blood pressure, blood clots, blood vessel disease, heart disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart rhythm or conduction disorders), kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, mental/mood disorders, certain types of seizures (atypical absence seizures), history of decreased bone marrow function due to other drugs. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the risk of possible birth defects and complications in the infant at birth. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, contact your doctor immediately. If you are pregnant, prenatal care including tests for spinal cord defects is recommended. This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug interactions

Carbamazepine interacts with multiple drugs and caution should be used in combining other medicines with it. Lower levels of carbamazepine are seen when administrated with phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), or primidone (Mysoline). Warfarin (Coumadin), phenytoin (Dilantin), theophylline, and valproic acid (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon) are more rapidly metabolized with carbamazepine, while carbamazepine levels are elevated when taken with erythromycin, cimetidine (Tagamet), propoxyphene (Darvon), and calcium channel blockers. Carbamazepine also increases the metabolism (destruction) of the hormones in birth control pills and can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Unexpected pregnancies have occurred in patients taking both carbamazepine and birth control pills.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up. Missed dose:

Storage

Store carbamazepine at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed. Protect the tablets from light and moisture. Keep away from children and pets.