Tegretol

Generic Name: Carbamazepine

  • What is Tegretol?

    Tegretol is a medication used to treat certain types of seizures and certain types of nerve pain (trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia). It is available in tablets, extended-release tablets (Tegretol-XR), and a suspension.

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

    Tegretol may cause rare but serious skin rashes that may lead to death. These serious skin reactions are more likely to happen within the first four months of treatment but may occur at later times. These reactions are also more likely to be seen in people of Asian descent. If you are of Asian descent, you may need a genetic blood test before you take Tegretol to see if you are at a higher risk for serious skin reactions with this medicine. Symptoms may include: skin rash, hives, and sores in your mouth.

    Tegretol may cause rare but serious blood problems. Symptoms may include: fever, sore throat or other infections that come and go or do not go away, easy bruising, red or purple spots on your body, bleeding gums or nose, and severe fatigue or weakness.

    Tegretol may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people. Call your doctor immediately if you have new or worsening depression or anxiety, trouble sleeping, or thoughts about suicide or dying.

    Do not stop taking Tegretol without first talking to your doctor. Stopping Tegretol suddenly can cause serious problems. Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor as scheduled. Call your doctor between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms.

    Tegretol is not a regular pain medicine and should not be used for aches or pains.

  • Who should not take Tegretol?

    Do not use Tegretol if you have a history of bone marrow depression or are allergic to carbamazepine or any of Tegretol's ingredients.

    Do not use Tegretol if you are taking nefazodone, are allergic to medicines called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), or if you have taken an antidepressant medication in a class called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the last 14 days.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Tegretol. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have or have had suicidal thoughts or actions, depression or mood problems, heart problems, blood problems, liver or kidney problems, allergic reactions to medicines, increased pressure in your eye, drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit, use birth control, or have any other medical conditions.

  • 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 and children >12 years: (Tablets/Extended-release Tablets) The usual starting dose is 200 milligrams (mg) given twice a day. (Suspension) The usual starting dose is 1 teaspoon (tsp) given four times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.

    Children 6-12 years: The usual dose is 100 mg given twice a day or 1/2 tsp given four times a day. Your doctor may increase the dose as needed.

    Children <6 years: The dose is based on your child's weight; your doctor will determine the appropriate dose for your child.

    Nerve Pain

    Adults and children >12 years: (Tablets/Extended-release Tablets) The usual dose is 100 mg given twice a day. (Suspension) The usual dose is 1/2 tsp given four times a day on the first day. Your doctor may increase your dose only as needed to achieve freedom from pain.

  • How should I take Tegretol?

    This medication should only be taken with meals, and never on an empty stomach. Shake the Tegretol suspension well before using.

    Tegretol-XR tablets must be swallowed whole. Do not crush or chew them and do not take tablets that have been damaged.

  • What should I avoid while taking Tegretol?

    Do not drink alcohol or take other drugs that make you sleepy or dizzy while taking Tegretol until you talk to your doctor.

    Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Tegretol affects you. Tegretol may slow your thinking and motor skills.

    Avoid prolonged exposure to artificial or natural sunlight. Tegretol may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight, so use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you are outdoors.

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

    If Tegretol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Tegretol may interact with numerous medications, therefore it is very important that you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. Tegretol can also have food interactions with grapefruit/grapefruit juice; avoid taking this together.

  • What are the possible side effects of Tegretol?

    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: dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, problems with walking and coordination (unsteadiness), vomiting

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

    Tegretol can cause harm to the unborn baby if used in pregnant women. 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 Tegretol?

    If you miss a dose of Tegretol, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Tegretol?

    Store at room temperature.