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Unread 11-18-2011, 01:12 PM   #1
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Default Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

I started Tegretol last Monday(the 7th), and felt relief every day until the weekend when it started wearing off by 5 PM. I'm only taking it twice a day so that could contribute to that since it's not the extended release.. Anyways, I was on 100 mg morning and night. On Wednesday I went up to 200 mg twice a day. I still feel manic in many ways. It helps for a few hours after taking it though.. I wish it would help right away, but I know I have to find my helpful dose and THEN it could take up to a month.. I just want it to help now.. I am drinking a "relaxation" tea every day to further calm myself.. I think once I'm taking it 3 times a day it will help much more, to be honest.. Just getting there, I guess.. should be next week..

How long did it take for anyone on Tegretol to feel results?
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Unread 11-18-2011, 05:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

It can take a while. For me I was on such a heavy cocktail I didn't really notice or couldn't tell when it started working. But I believe now that it has. Just keep trying, I believe they start working a little at a time.
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Unread 11-19-2011, 11:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

It wasn't very effective for me. I felt like I was taking a placebo. Now on Lamictal and for me it's made a significant difference, but of course with Lamictal it had to be titrated up and that took 6 weeks. Don't know of anything that could provide more instantaneous relief. Maybe Neurontin? Maybe Depakote?
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Unread 11-23-2011, 11:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

I just went up to 600 mg a day today. We'll see how I feel in a week, I guess. Apparently I have to meet with a psychiatrist next week to be RE-diagnosed. They told me, "Sometimes the old diagnosis was wrong. So we want to check you again and make sure you are bipolar and not just depressed or anxious." Are you kidding me? Definitely not depressed, anxious yes but that is because of my constantly racing thoughts that I can't shut off! So, in a week I will either be allowed to remain on Tegretol or we'll be right back to where I started 10 years ago with no proper diagnosis and the wrong medication. :-\ I really hope they see what I am going through and help, instead of trying to change everything around...
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Unread 11-24-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

I was on 400mg XR and i felt a difference after about 4 weeks, when i lost my insurance i had 2 switch to 600mg 3x a day, i couldn't keep up with the medication timetable ( each dose should be 8hrs apart) so i got tapered off after 2weeks and switched to lithium... Sorry if I wasn't much help. Hope you feel better soon...
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Unread 11-24-2011, 10:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

You need to get blood tests, to check your tegretol levels. I was on it for about 9 months, along with lamictal, so i'm not sure which one was working. I had to come off of it b/c I'm trying to get pregnant. I was hard coming off of it, had withdrawals for about 2 weeks.
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Unread 11-24-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

Well, it may be working but I can feel myself swinging SEVERELY in the other direction now.. I have been crying all morning. My anxiety has been bad the last few days, I can hardly look anyone in the eyes anymore. I am doubting everything, my relationship especially.. Can't slow my thoughts down, though.. They are all over the place. I honestly don't know what to do, I was sure this would help me. I feel like this smog is over my mind right now, I just feel out of place. I am wondering if buying some 5-htp would help.. I know I took that with my seroquel years back.. This is extremely frustrating to go from one extreme to another. I couldn't sleep last night because I was just thinking about ending my relationship. I just feel miserable today. I don't even know if he is actually doing anything to make me unhappy, or if it's just me, and that feeling sucks...
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Unread 11-24-2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

I'm sorry you are experiencing such pain, learningtoaccept. It sounds like you are a bit mixed at the moment. Not fun.

I'm also on tegretol (well, really generic carbamazepine because I'm cheap, haha). I have bipolar II and suffer mostly from depression. On top of my slower bipolar swings, I also have fast (sometimes daily, sometimes hourly, sometimes by the minute!) mood changes that I believe to be due to a cyclothymic temperament. I felt the tegretol start to even out the fast mood changes after about 3 weeks. This left me in a severe bipolar depression, for which tegretol was completely ineffective. Pdoc added wellbutrin (bupropion), and the cyclothymic swings are back. I think the depression may finally be starting to let up, so I guess the wellbutrin is doing something. But with the wellbutrin, I still have some hypomania that tegretol fails to prevent.

So you're not alone in having an adventure with tegretol. Everyone has unique neurochemistry and genetics, so it can be difficult to determine if, when, and how a drug will work. I hope you feel better soon!
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Unread 11-26-2011, 11:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

I feel like my meds are wearing off by 4 or 5 PM as well, and I told my doctor and asked if I could take it morning, noon, and night, but she said no.. I know others take it up to 4 times a day so I'm not even sure why.. When I asked, she said because they don't want the medication to spike and fall all through the day. But if the half-life if 12 hours, doesn't that mean that yes, the medication is half gone by the time I take my night dose 12 hours later? I was considering just taking it three times a day against her wishes and seeing how it works.. I know you're supposed to only follow the doctor's directions but even now with the dose increased, I felt fine all day yesterday while out running errands and then by 5 I was ANGRY and moody. I feel like, at least if I'm only allowed twice a day they could give me the extended release kind instead of the normal ones.. So I don't really know what to do there.. I am meeting with a psychiatrist within the next week or so to discuss recommendations since I don't have a regular psychiatrist.. and I will probably ask them if it's okay to take it more than twice a day.. Because I have huge swings from 5-9 when I take my night pill and it's not helpful....
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Unread 11-26-2011, 01:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Okay, how long does Tegretol take to work?

I was just prescribed carbamazepine at a beginning dose of 200mg 2x daily and then after one week up to 400mg 2x daily. The pdoc also increased my Lexapro back up to 20mg daily (I'd decreased it to 10mg daily, but I thought it was increasing my hypomania). I had thought I would be prescribed Lamictal but I've been in crisis and others have suggested the titration requirements of Lamictal may have caused her to choose the generic for Tegretol instead. Anyway, I'm not sure what to expect.
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