Carbamazepine: Oral Tablet

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant and can help treat seizures, nerve pain, and bipolar disorder. Common brands include Tegretol, Carbatrol, and Epitol. You will need a prescription for this drug. Do not take this drug for other aches or pain unrelated to your condition. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Please note that this article has contributed extensive research in order to try and provide accurate details of information. However, I am not a doctor and this information should not replace that of a professional’s expertise.

Here we will examine carbamazepine oral tablet, and its related side effects. First, let’s look at how carbamazepine works.

How does it work?

Carbamazepine works by decreasing nerve impulses throughout the body. These nerve impulses can cause seizures and pain, which is why this medicine helps treat certain conditions related to nerve pain and seizures like trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy.

Warnings

There are certain things you should be aware of before taking carbamazepine oral tablet. For more information about the tablet, contact your doctor. The following is a list of warnings associated with carbamazepine:

Allergies

Do not use this drug if you are allergic or if you have had allergic reactions from the drug in the past. Other allergic reactions to certain antidepressants can occur, such as amitriptyline, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, or nortriptyline.

Drug Interactions

Avoid using carbamazepine if you have used an MAO inhibitor (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) in the past two weeks. A life-threatening drug interaction can occur if you have used this inhibitor recently. For example, some MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl or Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate). Make sure to contact your doctor and update them on what other medications you are taking.

Blood Test

Your doctor may recommend a blood test to determine whether or not you are more likely at risk for certain severe side effects, such as a severe skin rash. Some individuals may experience a life-threatening skin rash when first starting carbamazepine.

Pregnant

Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant before using this drug. If you are pregnant while taking carbamazepine, you may be closely observed by your doctor to ensure no severe side effects arise. Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant. Additionally, you should not breast-feed while on carbamazepine.

Furthermore, if you are taking a form of birth control, know that carbamazepine can make your birth control less effective and increase the chances of pregnancy.

Alcohol

Do not consume alcohol while using carbamazepine. Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of side effects, such as increase the risk of seizures.

Food

You may need to avoid certain foods while using carbamazepine, such as grapefruit. Grapefruit can lead to certain side effects. Do not eat or use grapefruit products.

Sunlight

Avoid too much sunlight or tanning beds because carbamazepine can make you sunburn more easily. If you are outside in the sun, make sure to wear clothing that covers your skin and use sunscreen to help protect the skin.

Other Warnings

If you have had heart problems, liver or kidney disease, glaucoma, porphyria, or suicidal thoughts or actions, carbamazepine may not be the right option for you. Carbamazepine can worsen these conditions, and you should not take it if you have had a history of any of the conditions listed above. Talk to your doctor if you have experienced any of the conditions.

Side Effects

Possible side effects can occur while using carbamazepine. Speak to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about the side effects of this drug.

Allergies: As mentioned previously, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to this drug. Examples of a severe allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, skin pain, or a rash. Call 911 at once if you experience any of these severe reactions.

Mood or Behavior: Symptoms can worsen if you have depression. Some examples include sudden mood or behavior changes, increased anxiety, insomnia, agitation, restlessness, and irritability. Also, carbamazepine can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts. Call your doctor immediately if you believe you are experiencing any of these effects.

Other Side Effects:

  • change in heartbeat
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pain
  • dark urine
  • anemia
  • low levels of sodium (headaches, confusion, weakness, seizures)
  • dizziness
  • loss of coordination
  • nausea
  • sleepiness

For a full list of side effects, talk to your doctor or go to Drugs.com.

Oral Tablet vs. Extended-Release Capsules

Take carbamazepine with your meals in order to help reduce the risk of an upset stomach. If you decide to take the drug without food, you may feel nauseated. However, carbamazepine extended-release capsules do not require you to take it with meals. Do not crush or chew the capsules. If, however, you do experience the need to vomit while taking the capsules, try taking it with your meals as well.

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