Why is Tegretol prescribed?
Tegretol is used to treat certain types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. It also relieves facial nerve pain.
Carbamazepine is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should Tegretol be used?
Tegretol comes as a tablet, chewable tablet, and liquid to take by mouth. It is taken two to four times a day. To treat nerve pain, it is taken once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Tegretol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Shake the liquid suspension well before you use it each time.
Continue to take Tegretol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Carbamazepine without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Abruptly stopping the drug can cause seizures. Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually. Carbamazepine must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Tegretol, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Tegretol or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other seizure medications, acetaminophen (Tylenol), astemizole (Hismanal), clarithromycin (Biaxin), danazol (Danocrine), diltiazem (Cardiazem), doxycycline (Vibramycin), erythromycin, haloperidol (Haldol), isoniazid (INH), lithium, medications for colds or allergies such as chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), medications for depression such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and fluoxetine (Prozac), oral contraceptives, propoxyphene (Darvon), sedatives such as phenobarbital, terfenadine (Seldane), theophylline (Theo-Dur), verapamil (Calan), and vitamins. Tegretol affects the action of other medications, and many medications can affect the action of Tegretol. Tell your doctor and pharmacist everything you are taking.
- do not take Tegretol liquid at the same time as any other liquid medications.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver disease; glaucoma; high blood pressure; or a history of blood clots or blood disorders.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Tegretol, call your doctor immediately. Tegretol may harm the fetus.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Tegretol.
- You should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how Carbamazepine affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by Carbamazepine.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Tegretol may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can Tegretol cause?
Although side effects from Tegretol are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- stomach pain
- loss of appetite
- irritability (especially in children)
- mental confusion
- difficulty coordinating movements
- speech problems
- dry mouth
- mouth or tongue irritation
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- red, itchy skin rash
- easy bruising
- tiny purple-colored skin spots
- bloody nose
- unusual bleeding
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- sore throat
- mouth sores
- irregular heartbeat
- joint pain
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
What storage conditions are needed for Tegretol?
Keep Carbamazepine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What other information should I know?
Call your doctor if you continue to have seizures or convulsions while taking this medication.
If you give Carbamazepine to a child, observe and keep a record of the child's moods, behavior, attention span, hand-eye coordination, and ability to solve problems and perform tasks requiring thought. Ask the child's teacher to keep a similar record. This information can help the child's doctor determine whether to continue the drug or to change the dose or drug.
Wear identification (Medic Alert) indicating medication use and epilepsy.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.