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Tegretol

 
  Generic Name: Carbamazepine (oral) (kar ba MAZ e peen)
 
  Brand Names: Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol XR  
     
   
 

What is Tegretol?

Tegretol is in a group of drugs called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing nerve impulses that cause seizures and pain.

Tegretol is used to treat certain types of seizures associated with epilepsy, the treatment of the nerve pain associated with true trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder.

Tegretol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this guide.

Important information about Tegretol

You should not take this medicine if you have a history of bone marrow suppression, or if you are allergic to an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), or nortriptyline (Pamelor).

Do not take Tegretol if you have taken an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) in the past 14 days.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking Tegretol. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

There are many other medicines that could cause a drug interaction if you take them together with Tegretol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.

Do not use Tegretol without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (not birth control pills) to prevent pregnancy while taking Tegretol. Do not stop using Tegretol without first talking to your doctor. You may have increased seizures or unpleasant side effects if you stop using Tegretol suddenly.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Tegretol?

You should not use Tegretol if you are allergic to carbamazepine or to certain antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others. Do not use Tegretol if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days.

You should not take Tegretol if you have a history of bone marrow suppression, or if you are also taking nefazodone.

Before taking Tegretol, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • a history of serious side effects from any drug;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • porphyria;

  • heart disease or heart block;

  • lupus;

  • a history of mental illness; or

  • glaucoma.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take Tegretol.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking Tegretol. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Patients of Asian ancestry may have a higher risk of developing a rare but serious skin reaction to Tegretol. Your doctor may recommend a blood test before you start the medication to determine your risk of this skin reaction.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Tegretol without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Tegretol can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Tegretol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use Tegretol without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Tegretol?

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 Tegretol.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a 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. Do not take other liquid medicines at the same time.

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

Tegretol 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. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Your doctor may recommend having your eyes checked regularly while you are taking this medicine.

It may take up to 4 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. Do not stop taking the medication even if you feel better. You may have increased seizures or unpleasant side effects if you stop using Tegretol suddenly.

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 Tegretol, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking Tegretol.

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

Store Tegretol at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include shallow breathing, fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, urinating less or not at all, muscle twitches, restlessness, tremors, slurred speech, staggering walk, and feeling light-headed or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Tegretol?

Tegretol 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. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of Tegretol, and can also increase your risk of seizures. Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Tegretol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun. Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, other seizure medicines, and medicine for depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by Tegretol. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these other medicines.

Tegretol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;

  • feeling short of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet;

  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • urinating less than usual.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • feeling dizzy, drowsy, or unsteady;

  • vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain;

  • confusion, headache, blurred vision;

  • ringing in your ears;

  • dry mouth, swollen tongue; or

  • joint or muscle pain, leg cramps.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Tegretol?

There are many other medicines that could cause a drug interaction if you take them together with Tegretol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Tegretol.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others and use Tegretol only for the condition prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2009 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.05. Revision Date: 4/12/2009 4:22:34 PM.;
 
 
 
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