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Tegretol (carbamazapine)

Overall Rating
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3.4
Rating:

3.4

*** 1/2
(Out of 5 Stars)
Side Effects
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2.73
Pricing
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4.25
Average Price: $2.23 Thumbs up Recommended By
73% of reviewers (of 15 reviews)
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Tegretol®

Generic Name: Carbamazepine kar-ba-MAZ-e-peen

Drug Class: Anticonvulsant, carbamazepine

 

Contents

 

Description
Carbamazepine (kar-ba-MAZ-e-peen) is used to control some types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. It is also used to relieve pain due to trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux). It should not be used for other more common aches or pains. Carbamazepine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
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General Information
This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your healthcare provider. 

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Proper use of this medicine
Carbamazepine suspension and tablets should be taken with meals to lessen the chance of stomach upset (nausea and vomiting). Carbamazepine extended-release capsules do not need to be taken with meals unless they upset your stomach. The contents of these extended-release capsules may be sprinkled over a teaspoonful of applesauce or other similar food; the capsule or its contents should not be crushed or chewed. It is very important that you take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor to obtain the best results and lessen the chance of serious side effects. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
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Missed Dose
Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.
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Storage
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. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.
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Possible Side Effects
    • This medicine can cause the following side effects:
    • dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness
    • nausea and vomiting
    • blurred vision
    • confusion
    • headache
    • water retention (edema)
    • Unreported side effects are possible, talk to your healthcare provider if any other symptoms occur.
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Warnings/Precautions
    • Avoid long exposure to the sun and use a sunscreen and protective clothing.
    • Do NOT abruptly stop this medicine without talking to your doctor.
    • Be cautious when driving or performing other hazardous activities. This medicine can impair judgment.
    • This medicine can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
    • Diabetics should be aware that this class of drugs may alter blood glucose levels.
    • Carry an identification card with your to let doctors and emergency personal that you are taking this medication.
    • Use caution in hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid getting overheated.
    • This medicine may decrease the effects of birth control pills. Use a backup form of contraception while taking this medicine.
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Overdose
Seek medical attention immediately. U.S. residents can call the national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.
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Drug Interactions
    • This medicine may react with the following drugs:
    • Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
    • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
    • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
    • Corticosteroids (cortisone-like medicine)
    • Diltiazem (Cardizem)
    • Erythromycin (e.g., E-Mycin, Erythrocin, Ilosone)
    • Propoxyphene (e.g., Darvon)
    • Verapamil (e.g., Calan)
    • Estrogens (female hormones)
    • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
    • Quinidine
    • Fluvoxamine (e.g., Luvox)
    • Isoniazid [INH]
    • Itraconazole [Sporanox]
    • Ketoconazole [Nizoral]
    • Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors
    • Other anticonvulsants (seizure medicines)
    • Risperidone [Risperdal]
    • Tricyclic antidepressants

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Pregnancy/Nursing
Carbamazepine has not been studied in pregnant women. However, there have been reports of babies having low birth weight, small head size, skull and facial defects, underdeveloped fingernails, and delays in growth when their mothers had taken carbamazepine in high doses during pregnancy. In addition, birth defects have been reported in some babies when the mothers took other medicines for epilepsy during pregnancy. Also, studies in animals have shown that carbamazepine causes birth defects when given in large doses. Therefore, the use of carbamazepine during pregnancy should be discussed with your doctor. Carbamazepine passes into the breast milk, and in some cases the baby may receive enough of it to cause unwanted effects. In animal studies, carbamazepine has affected the growth and appearance of the nursing babies.
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More Information

For more information about this medicine, talk to your healthcare provider.
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Copyright 2006 PharmClips, Inc. All rights reserved. www.pharmclips.com
This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This is general information and should not in any event be construed as specific instructions for individual patients. The publisher does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents of this material. The reader is advised to check with their health care provider before making any changes in their drug regimen.

Last reviewed:
  On 8 Aug 2006
  By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.


 

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Reviews
 
misskrome
Member

Registered: January 2014
Location: ...
Posts: 229
Mon January 20, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: calmed me down
CONS: knocked me out at smallest dose

even the tiniest dose the doc could put me on made me extremely drowsy. I just slept constantly. Was taking for adhd.

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justjenn2u
New Member

Registered: December 2011
Posts: 4
Sat December 3, 2011 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS:
CONS:

This medication causes black outs and depression. It put me in the hospital.

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WOCDAM
New Member

Registered: March 2011
Location: BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Posts: 1
Thu March 31, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: Kept me calm, almost eliminated all my explosive problems.
CONS: Over a few years, its effectiveness decreased and I had to increase the dose to dangerous levels to achieve the same effect.

I was born with ADHD and OCD. The medication was prescribed to me originally before my diagnoses to help control my anger. Tegretol works wonderful at controlling outbursts. I started at 200 mgs. three times a day.However, as my body became use to the medication, I required more of it to achieve the same benefits. The side effects include being tired. If you take too much of the medication, you generally lose your sense of balance. I also experienced double vision.

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spacemonkey36
Member

Registered: March 2011
Location: Washington State
Posts: 81
Sat March 19, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $2.50| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Changed my life!
CONS: None I'm aware of

I have to take the liquid suspension since I have a malabsorption syndrome, but wow, it's about the ONLY medicaion in suspension that doesn't make me want to vomit. Plus, the effectiveness without the 90 pounds that Depakote gave me--uh, huh, no one is gonna pry the bottle out of my cold, dead, stiff hands!!! It has worked for my mania, mood swings, anxiety, and so on, where nothing else has, and for me, works better than Depakote did. And without the additional 90 pounds Depakote put on. I have lost most of the weight from the depakote, but still have some to go--but it's easier when you're not on a med that's first listed side effect is either increased appetite or weight gain...and not the drug from h***, aka, lithium!

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Helpmefindmymarbles
New Member

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 5
Tue August 5, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: First drug to help me with my anxiety, but comes with a price. Helps me sleep.
CONS: Stomach problems, weight gain, got very sick last year, eye ticks, blood in stool, too sleepy, a little zombie like

I decided to get on medication for anxiety when I was 17. I tried Paxil, Celexa, and Zoloft. None seemed to work. I would get anxiety attacks at work and I noticed that I was having work related problems due to my behavior. I decided to try Tegretol because it's calming effects. This was when I was about 20 yrs old at the time I'm now 24. It seemed to work wonders for me socially and mentally. I was able to work a lot more without dreading it and carry out a long term relationship and even keep in touch with family, which is really hard for me to do. BUT in the past 4 years I have gone through a physical transformation. I am extremely pale and sensitive to light. I have gained near 75 lbs..sheesh. Last year I was sick nearly every month, feverish really. With the fevers came bloody stools, which scared me. I have been to the doc about getting sick, but it went away on it's own the beginning of this yr. I just found it odd I was sick for a whole year considering I never get sick. So of course it has to be the Tegretols. I can't seem to wean off these "Tegs" though because when I do I feel weird like I'm not myself, but then again I was on these pills for 4 yrs so I wouldn't remember how it feels to be without them. I am going to try something else not as strong because I want to live longer, but be happy too and function I just suggest for anyone considering trying this to get blood work done for these pills decreases white blood cell count, cause anemia, stomach problems, etc. And when you first get used to the drug the side effects are pretty strong. It gives you the runs and makes you konk out pretty quickly. Forget about mixing it with alcohol. I did this once and fell asleep after one shot of tequila.

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adamt
Newly Joined

Registered: February 2008
Location: Stillwater,Mn
Sat February 9, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $0.19| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: Relieved mood swings, helped with sleep
CONS: Slight drowsiness

I would rather deal with the drowsiness than the 32 years of fear, sadness, anger and confusion I was dealing with.

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lhanson
Junior Member

Registered: August 2007
Posts: 7
Tue August 21, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: Relieved mania, low side effects
CONS: hot flashes, lowers white blood cell count, causes other meds to metabolize faster

This has really been a wonder drug for me. It relieved my manic episodes and anxiety, and it is one of the only medications that didn't make me tired.

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gionnetto
Newly Joined

Registered: August 2007
Fri August 10, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: works wonders on mixed states
CONS: weight gain, blurred vision, skin sensitivity

I was put on tegretol after having been diagnosed bipolar 1 in 2000. It made me sleep (which I needed) and gave me blurred vision bigtime. However I never had a manic episode again! The dose was ramped up at 1,200 mg/day and I did gain 45 lbs, but I lost most of them (26) in one year of self-discipline. After that, I even scaled back on it and have been on 800 mg/day since March 2003. Since then, I had no mania, 1 major depression and a minor one. However my skin sensitivity is still enhanced, especially toward sunlight (use sunblock!!!). No major episodes in the last 3 year, only a minor one 2 yrs ago. Don't be afraid to try it, just remember not to overeat too often

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survivor_of_many
New Member

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 3
Fri May 4, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: stopped the panic attacks
CONS: rapid heart beat, sweating

I was on tegretol for almost 11 years for the treatment of panic attacks that came on in the middle of the night. This drug along with Aventyl stopped them in their tracks. I did have a rapid heart beat from them and had to take medication to slow it down, but other than that all went well. When I found out I was pregnant, I was told to get off these medications ASAP! Tegretol could disfigure the mouth area of the baby ~ I had many ultrasounds to check this out... and all is perfect. However, I did get off all my medication in four days after finding out about the pregnancy. That was almost 12 years ago.... have not been back on those medications since....

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SerenitysWave
Grand Poohbah

Registered: December 2005
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1529
Sun April 15, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: started feeling like it was stabilizing my moods at the beginning of third week
CONS: 1st week: felt VERY drowsy, dizzy, confused, staggered gait, felt like a bobble head and drunk... 2nd week: irritable attitude kinda mean and impatient. still confused but drunk feeling gone...then got the rash...OH,while taking this med I experienced anx

I was started on 600mg a day (200 mg 3x a day)... I had extreme tiredness, couldn't drive, had difficulty preforming work duties accurately, difficulty talking and jumbling words, very staggered walk- had to hold onto things to keep steady, felt like I was going to pass-out all the time, sour belly.... Then as 2nd week started I began to feel a mood shift of irritation and impatience, snappy... still had word confusion and diffiuclty doing some task accurately, forgetfullness, and less drowsy... Then I noticed rash, starte don my legs- didn't think much of it at first, then spread to my arms and neck... Went to ER (also had resp. infection separate to reaction) told I was having allergic reaction and to immediately stop taking this med. After I did many symptoms went away by next day... I am sure this med works well with some people, I just happen to not be one of them, it did however began to start stabilizing my moods towards the end.....

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Thomi
Member

Registered: February 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 36
Thu March 8, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: Began stabalizing quickly
CONS: Made me extremely ill

My irratibility went down but after a few days, I got not so much dizzy as this strange feeling in my head like I have experienced during periods of withdrawal from other meds. I lost my appetite, got really nauseous and confused. I had a difficult time orienting myself and thus could not drive. The side effects lessened greatly the day I stopped taking it and were gone completely the day after. It was miserable.

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Jkeyz
Member

Registered: February 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 47
Thu March 1, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Lifesaver
CONS: None

Tegretol has saved my life. I was diagnosed as bipolar in early 2003 and placed on Tegretol in late 2003. It stabilized my moods dramaticly. I take 400mg twice a day. I don't remember having any side effects. I can't live without it!!

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Eleora
Member

Registered: May 2006
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 264
Sat November 25, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: Low side effects, started to stabilize my mood quickly
CONS: Sleepiness

I started at 200mg, and I found it made me sleepy for about 3 days and then it more or less went away. I am up to 500mg, with little side effects with the exception of upping it. Normally when it is upped, I get the same sleepy feeling for a couple days. Carbamazepine has helped my mood symptoms substancially.

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Sher
Member

Registered: May 2006
Posts: 34
Thu September 28, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $4.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: once in my system , had no side effects
CONS: while building up in my system , dizziness and nausea were a problem , about a week

once in my system this has been and continues to ba an excelent drug for mood stabilization. I have had no weight gain issues either.

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eskielover
just me wantng to be free

Registered: October 2004
Location: Kentucky, USA
Posts: 11345
Thu September 14, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS:
CONS: extream sleepiness, dizzyness, nausea & lack of appetite along with migraine pain

My dose was started off the first day at 50mg. That ended up causing extreme sleepyness & dizzyness. On top of that, I had nausea which caused a lack of appetite & ended up with migraine pain which just continued the migraine pain from previous AD trials. The dose was lowered to 25mg the next day & the side effects got continually worse rather than improving.

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