Carbatrol

Generic Name: Carbamazepine

  • What is Carbatrol?

    Carbatrol is an extended-release formulation of carbamazepine, which is used to treat seizures (partial, grand mal, mixed) and facial/head pain (trigeminal neuralgia).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Carbatrol?

    Carbatrol has the risk of potentially dangerous side effects, so it is very important to thoroughly assess its use with your doctor. A detailed history and physical examination is needed to determine if you are qualified for treatment.

    Serious and sometimes fatal skin rashes have been reported during treatment with Carbatrol.

    Blood disorders have been associated with the use of Carbatrol.

    Carbatrol may also increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. If you develop depression or your depression worsens, suicidal thoughts or behavior occur, or you experience unusual changes in mood or behavior, contact your doctor.

  • Who should not take Carbatrol?

    Patients with a history of previous bone marrow depression or hypersensitivity to Carbatrol should not take this medication. You should not take this drug if you have had a previous allergic reaction to amitriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, protriptyline, or nortriptyline. Also, do not take Carbatrol if you have been taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor within 14 days of initiating Carbatrol therapy.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Carbatrol?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Carbatrol. Also, talk to your doctor about all your medical conditions, especially if you have a history of blood disorders. In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or become pregnant.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Seizures

    Adults: The usual initial dose is 200 milligrams (mg) twice daily, which can be increased in weekly intervals up to 200 mg per day until optimal response is obtained.

    Children <12 years: Children taking total daily doses of immediate-release carbamazepine of ≥400 mg may be switched to the same total daily dosage of the extended-release formulation, using twice-daily dosing.

    Trigeminal Neuralgia

    Adults: The usual initial dose is 200 mg on the first day. The dose may be increased by up to 200 mg a day every 12 hours as needed for pain relief. Do not exceed 1200 mg daily.

  • How should I take Carbatrol?

    Take Carbatrol twice a day at the same time with food. Do not chew, crush, or cut the capsules.

  • What should I avoid while taking Carbatrol?

    Avoid driving and operating machinery until you know how the medicine will affect you. Use contraception when having sex.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Carbatrol?

    If Carbatrol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Because Carbatrol may interact with a wide variety of medications, always check with your doctor before combining it with any other drug. Also, check with your doctor before combining Carbatrol with grapefruit juice, which may affect how well the drug works.

  • What are the possible side effects of Carbatrol?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: blood disorders, rash, itching, heart disorders (edema, heart failure, high or low blood pressure), fever, pneumonia, urinary problems, kidney impairment, impotence, dizziness, drowsiness, aching joints, muscle and leg cramps

  • Can I receive Carbatrol if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Carbatrol is not recommended in women who are or may become pregnant, due to its potential to harm the baby. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Carbatrol?

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time of your next dose, skip it and resume your scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Carbatrol?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light and moisture.

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