Tegretol (carbamazepine) is an anticonvulsant used to treat seizures and nerve pain such as trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Tegretol is also used to treat bipolar disorder. Tegretol is available in generic form. Common side effects of Tegretol (as your body adjusts to the medication) include:
- dry mouth,
- swollen tongue,
- loss of balance or coordination, or
The starting dose of Tegretol to treat epilepsy in adults and children over 12 years of age is 200 mg twice daily for tablets and XR tablets, or 1 tsp 4 times daily for suspension (400 mg/day). Usual maintenance dose is 800-1200 mg daily. The starting dose to treat trigeminal neuralgia is 100 mg twice daily for tablets or XR tablets, or � tsp 4 times daily for suspens.ion, for a total daily dose of 200 mg. Control of pain is maintained in most patients with 400-800 mg daily. Consult your doctor for pediatric doses. Many other medicines interact with Tegretol. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use, especially theophylline, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, antibiotics, drugs to treat tuberculosis, antifungal medications, blood thinners, cancer medicines, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV or AIDS medications, medications to treat depression or mental illness, medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection, other seizure medications, steroids, or thyroid replacement medications. During pregnancy, Tegretol should be used only when prescribed. It may harm a fetus. Since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm a pregnant woman and her baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are pregnant, prenatal care including tests for defects is recommended. Hormonal birth control may not work if taken with this medication. Discuss birth control with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Tegretol (carbamazepine) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
If adverse reactions are of such severity that the drug must be discontinued, the physician must be aware that abrupt discontinuation of any anticonvulsant drug in a responsive epileptic patient may lead to seizures or even status epilepticus with its life-threatening hazards.
The most frequently observed adverse reactions, particularly during the initial phases of therapy, are dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea, and vomiting. To minimize the possibility of such reactions, therapy should be initiated at the lowest dosage recommended.
The following additional adverse reactions have been reported:
Aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, bone marrow depression, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, leukocytosis, eosinophilia, acute intermittent porphyria, variegate porphyria, porphyria cutanea tarda.
Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) (see BOXED WARNING), Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP), pruritic and erythematous rashes, urticaria, photosensitivity reactions, alterations in skin pigmentation, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme and nodosum, purpura, aggravation of disseminated lupus erythematosus, alopecia, diaphoresis, onychomadesis and hirsutism. In certain cases, discontinuation of therapy may be necessary.
Congestive heart failure, edema, aggravation of hypertension, hypotension, syncope and collapse, aggravation of coronary artery disease, arrhythmias and AV block, thrombophlebitis, thromboembolism (e.g., pulmonary embolism), and adenopathy or lymphadenopathy.
Urinary frequency, acute urinary retention, oliguria with elevated blood pressure, azotemia, renal failure, and impotence. Albuminuria, glycosuria, elevated BUN, and microscopic deposits in the urine have also been reported. There have been rare reports of impaired male fertility and/or abnormal spermatogenesis.
Testicular atrophy occurred in rats receiving Tegretol orally from 4 to 52 weeks at dosage levels of 50 to 400 mg/kg/day. Additionally, rats receiving Tegretol in the diet for 2 years at dosage levels of 25, 75, and 250 mg/kg/day had a dose-related incidence of testicular atrophy and aspermatogenesis. In dogs, it produced a brownish discoloration, presumably a metabolite, in the urinary bladder at dosage levels of 50 mg/kg and higher. Relevance of these findings to humans is unknown.
Dizziness, drowsiness, disturbances of coordination, confusion, headache, fatigue, blurred vision, visual hallucinations, transient diplopia, oculomotor disturbances, nystagmus, speech disturbances, abnormal involuntary movements, peripheral neuritis and paresthesias, depression with agitation, talkativeness, tinnitus, hyperacusis, neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
There have been reports of associated paralysis and other symptoms of cerebral arterial insufficiency, but the exact relationship of these reactions to the drug has not been established.
Isolated cases of neuroleptic malignant syndrome have been reported both with and without concomitant use of psychotropic drugs.
Scattered punctate cortical lens opacities, increased intraocular pressure (see WARNINGS, General) as well as conjunctivitis, have been reported. Although a direct causal relationship has not been established, many phenothiazines and related drugs have been shown to cause eye changes.
Aching joints and muscles, and leg cramps.
Isolated cases of a lupus erythematosus-like syndrome have been reported. There have been occasional reports of elevated levels of cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in patients taking anticonvulsants.
A case of aseptic meningitis, accompanied by myoclonus and peripheral eosinophilia, has been reported in a patient taking carbamazepine in combination with other medications. The patient was successfully dechallenged, and the meningitis reappeared upon rechallenge with carbamazepine.
Drug Abuse And Dependence
No evidence of abuse potential has been associated with Tegretol, nor is there evidence of psychological or physical dependence in humans.