Basics
Tegretol (carbamazepine) is an anticonvulsant. It’s used to treat seizures and nerve pain like trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Carbamazepine is additionally used to treat bipolar disorder.

You should not take Tegretol if you have a history of bone marrow suppression, if you’re additionally taking nefazodone, or if you’re allergic to an antidepressant like amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), or nortriptyline (Pamelor).
This medication might cause severe or dangerous skin rash. Your doctor might suggest a blood test before you begin the medication to determine your risk.
Do not start or stop taking Tegretol during pregnancy without your doctor’s recommendation. It may cause damage to a fetus, however having a seizure during pregnancy could hurt both the mother and also the unborn baby. Tell your doctor at once if you become pregnant while taking Tegretol.

Tell your doctor about all different medicines you use. Some medicine can interfere with carbamazepine, which can cause side effects or make Tegretol less effective. Carbamazepine also can interfere with some medicine too, making them less effective or increasing side effects.
You may have thoughts about suicide while on Tegretol. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of depression or self-destructive thoughts. Your family or other caregivers should also be aware of changes in your mood or behaviour.

Tegretol can contraceptive contraception pills or implants less effective. Use a barrier type of contraceptive (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide) to stop pregnancy while taking this medication.

Carbamazepine can pass into breast milk and may hurt a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you’re using this medication.

Side effects

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

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: unexpected mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, or if you’re feeling agitated, hostile, restless, irritable, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor quickly if you have got a significant side effect such as:
• Fever, tired feeling, pale skin, feeling light-headed or panting for breath;
• Easy bruising, unusual haemorrhage (nose, mouth, vagina, or anus), red spots beneath your skin;
• Slow, fast, or pounding heartbeats;
• Confusion, vision problems, hallucinations;
• Nausea, upper abdomen pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
• Little or no urinating;
• Swelling, fast weight gain;
• Headache, unintelligible speech, vomiting, severe weakness, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, fainting, shallow respiration (breathing may stop);
• Problems with your fingernails or toenails; or
• Severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious Tegretol side effects might include:
• Dizziness;
• Drowsiness; or
• Dry mouth, swollen tongue.

Dosage

Take Tegretol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less than prescribed or for longer than recommended. Your doctor might occasionally modify your dose to make sure you get the most effective results.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open a Tegretol capsule. Swallow the pill whole. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at once.
Shake the Tegretol oral suspension (syrup) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the syrup with a medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

It may take up to 4 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using Tegretol as directed and call your doctor promptly if this medication appears to stop working well in preventing your seizures.

While using Tegretol, you may need frequent blood tests at your doctor’s office.
Do not stop using Tegretol without first talking to your doctor, even though you’re feeling fine. You may have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop using Tegretol suddenly.

Missed dose

Take the missed dose once you remember. Do not take the missed dose if it’s nearly time for your next dose. Don’t take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Overdose

Call for medical help quickly.
Overdose symptoms might include shallow respiration, urinating less or not at all, muscle spasm, tremors, unintelligible speech, or staggering walk.

Note

This medication might interfere with your judgement. Be careful if you drive or do something that needs you to be alert.
Drinking alcohol will increase some of the side effects of Tegretol, and can also increase your risk of seizures.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Tegretol can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective covering and use sunscreen (SPF thirty or higher) once you are outdoors.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice could act with Tegretol and result in unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.