Carbamazepine extended-release tablets or capsules
What do carbamazepine extended-release tablets or capsules do?
CARBAMAZEPINE (Carbatrol(R), Tegretol(R)-XR) can help with seizure (convulsion) control in certain types of epilepsy. Carbamazepine also treats nerve-related pain such as trigeminal neuralgia, or the pain associated with shingles.This medications is not for common aches and pains. Carbamazepine may also be used to control certain mood problems, and is used for manic-depressive illness in some people.
What should my health care professional know before I take carbamazepine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• frequently drink alcohol containing beverages
• anemia or other blood disorders or disease, like
• heart disease
• irregular heartbeat
• kidney disease
• liver disease
• low sodium level in the blood
• psychotic disorders
• seizures (convulsions)
• an unusual or allergic reaction to carbamazepine, tricyclic antidepressants, phenytoin, phenobarbital or other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take carbamazepine tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Tegretol(R)-XR tablets must be swallowed whole and should not be cut, crushed or chewed.
Carbatrol(R) capsules can be swallowed whole or they can be opened and the beads sprinkled over food such as applesauce or other similar food product. The capsules (Carbatrol(R)) or the beads inside the capsules should not be crushed or chewed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Carbamazepine is often prescribed to children to treat seizures.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with carbamazepine?
Carbamazepine can interact with many different types of medications. You should check with your prescriber or pharmacist before taking other medications with carbamazepine. The following list includes many of the types of medications that may interact:
• barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures (convulsions), like phenobarbital
• cancer-treating medications
• female hormones, including estrogens and birth control pills
• grapefruit juice
• herbal medicines like St. John's wort
• influenza virus vaccine
• isoniazid, INH
• levothyroxine and other thyroid hormones
• lithium and other medicines to treat mood problems or psychotic disturbances
• medicines for angina or high blood pressure
• medicines for rhuematoid or other inflammatory arthritis conditions
• medicines for depression or anxiety
• medicines for sleep
• medicines to treat fungal infections, like fluconazole, itraconazole or ketoconazole
• medicines used to treat HIV infection or the AIDs virus
• seizure (convulsion) or epilepsy medicine
• steroid medicines such as prednisone or cortisone
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking carbamazepine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• blurred or double vision, uncontrollable eye movements
• chest pain or tightness
• dark yellow or brown urine
• difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• fainting spells
• fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
• fever or chills, sore throat
• increased thirst
• mouth ulcers
• pain or difficulty passing urine
• redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
• ringing in the ears
• seizures (convulsions)
• shortness of breath, wheezing
• skin rash, hives, itching
• sore throat
• stomach pain
• swollen joints or muscle/joint aches and pains
• unusual bleeding or bruising
• unusual swelling
• yellowing of the eyes or skin
• mood changes, nervousness, or hostility
• unusual tiredness or weakness
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• clumsiness or unsteadiness
• diarrhea or constipation
• mild dizziness or drowsiness
• increased sensitivity to the sun
• increased sweating