Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Tegretol

(Carbamazepine)

  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
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Prevents seizures, stabilizes mood, and relieves nerve pain.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but interacts with many drugs.

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  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
  • First-line option for trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain involving the face, head, and neck), and can relieve other types of nerve pain.
  • May be helpful in stabilizing mood for people with bipolar disorder.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
  • Higher risk of skin reactions compared to other antiepileptic medicines, ranging from mild to life-threatening rash.
  • Can cause blurry vision, dizziness, and upset stomach.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.

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Side effects for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)

From clinical trials of Tegretol / Bipolar I disorder (400mg-1600mg per day) ( 499)

  • DizzinessDizziness44% for Tegretol vs.12% for placebo
  • DrowsinessDrowsiness32% for Tegretol vs.13% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea28% for Tegretol vs.10% for placebo
  • VomitingVomiting18% for Tegretol vs.3% for placebo
  • Lack of muscle coordinationLack of muscle coordination15% for Tegretol vs.0% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation10% for Tegretol vs.5% for placebo
  • ItchingItching8% for Tegretol vs.2% for placebo
  • Dry mouthDry mouth8% for Tegretol vs.3% for placebo
  • Muscle weaknessMuscle weakness8% for Tegretol vs.4% for placebo
  • RashRash7% for Tegretol vs.4% for placebo

What to expect when you take Tegretol (Carbamazepine) for Epilepsy

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests.
  • Report confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising to your doctor.
  • Takes up to 5 weeks to feel full effects on mood.

Risks and Warnings for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • People also taking Depakote
    • Asian ancestry

    Rarely, Tegretol (Carbamazepine) can cause a serious or life-threatening skin rash. The risk is higher for people who are also taking Depakote. If you are of Asian descent, you may need a genetic test to find out if you have a gene that causes increased risk. Report any skin rashes to a doctor immediately.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Tegretol (Carbamazepine)

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The FDA category for this medication is D. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy