Equetro

Generic Name: Carbamazepine for bipolar disorder

  • What is Equetro?

    Equetro is used to treat acute manic and mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder.

    A mixed episode is when a manic episode occurs with a major depressive episode (depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities).

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

    Patients with a history of adverse hematologic (blood) reaction to any drug may be particularly at risk of bone marrow depression.

    Carbamazepine should not be used in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to the drug, or known sensitivity to any of the tricyclic compounds (such as amitriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, protriptyline, and nortriptyline). In rare cases, serious but fatal dermatological reactions may occur. Call your doctor immediately if you develop a rash after staring Equetro therapy.

    Do not take Equetro at the same time as class of antidepressant medications called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Before administration of carbamazepine, discontinue MAOIs for a minimum of 14 days, or longer if the clinical situation permits.

    Do not begin treatment with Equetro if you are already being treated with a drug containing carbamazepine.

    If stopped abruptly, Equetro may cause a seizure in epileptic people.

    If you experience symptoms such as fever, sore throat, ulcers in the mouth, or easy bruising, contact your doctor immediately, as this may be a sign of a more serious side effect of Equetro.

    Do not take Equetro if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or nursing due to serious side effects associated with the drug.

    Do not engage in activities that require mental alertness or coordination, such as operating machinery or driving, after taking Equetro until you know how the medication affects you.

    Patients with increased intraocular pressure (glaucoma) should be closely observed during therapy.

  • Who should not take Equetro?

    Do not use Equetro if you have had problems with your bone marrow, or if you are allergic to any ingredients.

    Carbamazepine should not be used in patients with a history of known sensitivity to any of the tricyclic compounds (such as amitriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, protriptyline, and nortriptyline).

    Anyone taking an MAOI should not take Equetro.

    Do not take Equetro if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or nursing due to serious side effects associated with the drug.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Equetro. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of liver problems, seizure disorder, problems with your blood, increased ocular pressure (glaucoma), or if you are currently pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding. In addition, you should tell your doctor if you are currently on or have been on an MAOI within the last 14 days, or if you have a known sensitivity to any of the tricyclic compounds (such as amitriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, protriptyline, and nortriptyline).
  • 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.

    Adults: The usual dosage of Equetro is 400 milligrams (mg) per day usually given in divided doses of 200 mg two times a day. The dosage may be adjusted by 200 mg increments. The maximum dosage of this drug is 1600 mg/day.

  • How should I take Equetro?

    Equetro capsules may be swallowed whole, or opened and sprinkled over food such as applesauce. Capsules may be taken with or without food. Do not crush or chew the capsules.
  • What should I avoid while taking Equetro?

    Avoid potentially harmful activities, such as driving and operating machinery, until you see how Equetro affects you, as this drug may cause dizziness and blurred vision.

    Equetro contains carbamazepine and should not be used in combination with any other medications containing carbamazepine

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

    If Equetro is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Equetro with the following: acetaminophen, alprazolam, amitriptyline, bupropion, buspirone, citalopram, clobazam, clonazepam, clozapine, cyclosporine, delavirdine, desipramine, diazepam, dicumarol, doxycycline, ethosuximide, felbamate, felodipine, glucocorticoids, haloperidol, itraconazole, lamotrigine, levothyroxine, lorazepam, methadone, midazolam, mirtazapine, nortriptyline, olanzapine, oral contraceptives, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, praziquantel, protease inhibitors, quetiapine, risperidone, theophylline, topiramate, tiagabine, tramadol, triazolam, trazodone, valproate, warfarin, ziprasidone, and zonisamide.
  • What are the possible side effects of Equetro?

    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: blurred vision, dizziness, dry mouth, itchiness, muscle problems, nausea, speech problems, vomiting

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

    Do not take Equetro if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. This drug may cause severe problems during pregnancy, such as spina bifida (an opening in the fetus's spinal cord). Also, this drug may pass into breast milk and should not be used if you are breastfeeding.
  • How should I store Equetro?

    Store at room temperature and keep away from light and moisture.