Generic Name: Carbamazepine

Brand Names: Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol XR

Carbatrol (carbamazepine) is a prescription drug used to treat seizures and nerve pain. It’s available as an immediate-release and extended-release tablet. The extended-release form is only for people with epilepsy who take carbamazepine twice a day. Carbatrol can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. When carbamazepine is taken with certain drugs, it may not work as well to control your seizure or relieve your pain. You may need a higher dose of carbamazepine to get the same effect. If you’re taking carbamazepine with any of these drugs, your doctor will closely monitor you. Tell your doctor if you’re taking any of these medications before starting carbamazepine. You should also let your doctor know if you start or stop taking any other medications while you’re on carbamazepine. Carbamazepine can cause birth defects. If you’re a woman of childbearing age, talk to your doctor about using another form of contraception while you’re taking carbamazepine. Carbamazepine may also cause other side effects.

Pharmacokinetics

Carbamazepine is rapidly and completely absorbed following oral administration. It is distributed in most body tissues including the central nervous system (CNS). Carbamazepine crosses the placenta and is distributed into breast milk. It undergoes hepatic metabolism to various metabolites, some of which have pharmacologic activity. The elimination half-life of carbamazepine ranges from 36 to 60 hours (mean 48 hours) and is prolonged in geriatric patients, patients with decreased liver function, and in those receiving multiple anticonvulsants.

Carbatrol (carbamazepine) is a prescription drug used to treat seizures and nerve pain. It’s available as an immediate-release and extended-release tablet. The extended-release form is only for people with epilepsy who take carbamazepine twice a day. Carbatrol can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. When carbamazepine is taken with certain drugs, it may not work as well to control your seizure or relieve your pain. You may need a higher dose of carbamazepine to get the same effect. If you’re taking carbamazepine with any of these drugs, your doctor will closely monitor you. Tell your doctor if you’re taking any of these medications before starting carbamazepine. You should also let your doctor know if you start or stop taking any other medications while you’re on carbamazepine. Carbamazepine can cause birth defects. If you’re a woman of childbearing age, talk to your doctor about using another form of contraception while you’re taking carbamazepine.

Drug interactions

Carbamazepine can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. When carbamazepine is taken with certain drugs, it may not work as well to control your seizure or relieve your pain. You may need a higher dose of carbamazepine to get the same effect. If you’re taking carbamazepine with any of these drugs, your doctor will closely monitor you. Tell your doctor if you’re taking any of these medications before starting carbamazepine:

  • Cimetidine
  • Rifampin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin

Tell your doctor if you’re taking any of these medications before starting carbamazepine. You should also let your doctor know if you start or stop taking any other medications while you’re on carbamazepine.

Side effects

Carbamazepine may also cause other side effects.

Some common side effects of carbamazepine include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Changes in appetite

Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking carbamazepine, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Carbamazepine can pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you experience any of these side effects, call your doctor immediately. Carbamazepine may also cause other side effects not listed here.

Dosage and Administration

Carbamazepine is available as an immediate-release and extended-release tablet. The extended-release form is only for people with epilepsy who take carbamazepine twice a day.

The usual starting dose of carbamazepine for seizures is 100 mg two or three times daily. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose until your seizures are controlled. The typical maintenance dose ranges from 800 to 1,600 mg per day.

For nerve pain, the usual starting dose of carbamazepine is 100 mg two or three times daily. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose until you get relief from your pain. The typical maintenance dose ranges from 200 to 400 mg per day.

If you miss a dose of carbamazepine, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Don’t take two doses of carbamazepine at the same time.

Carbamazepine can be taken with or without food.

Overdose

If you take too much carbamazepine, call your local poison control center. If the person has collapsed or isn’t breathing, call 999.

Storage

Store carbamazepine at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep carbamazepine out of the reach of children and pets.

Carbamazepine is a prescription medication used to treat seizures, trigeminal neuralgia, and bipolar disorder. Carbamazepine is available as an immediate-release tablet, an extended-release tablet, and an oral suspension. The immediate-release tablets are typically taken two or three times a day. The extended-release tablets are taken twice a day. The oral suspension is taken four times a day. Common side effects of carbamazepine include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headache, and weight gain.