Tegretol

Generic name: Carbamazepine.

Other brand names: Epitol, Atretol.

Tegretol is an anticonvulsant. It acts as a depressant the central nervous system.  

Quick Facts About Tegretol

Purpose

Used to treat seizure disorders, including certain types of epilepsy. Also used to treat trigeminal neuralgia (severe jaw pain), and pain in the tongue and throat. Also prescribed for alcohol withdrawal, cocaine addiction, emotional disorders such as depression and abnormally aggressive behavior, migraine headaches, and “restless legs”.

Tegretol Dosage

Always take with meals. Shake suspension well before using. Do not suddenly stop if taking for seizures; may cause severe brain damage or death.

  • Usual adult dose: for seizures — one 200-milligram tablet taken 2 times per day or 1 teaspoonful taken 4 times per day. Doctor may increase at weekly intervals by adding 200-milligram or 2-teaspoonful doses up to 3 or 4 times per day. Dose should not exceed 1,200 milligrams per day. Usual maintenance dose ranges from 800 to 1,200 milligrams per day. For trigeminal neuralgia — one 100-milligram tablet taken 2 times per day or 1/2 teaspoonful 4 times on day 1. Doctor may increase by increments of 100 milligrams every 12 hours or 2 teaspoonfuls 4 times per day. Maximum daily dose — 1,200 milligrams. Maintenance dose — 400 to 800 milligrams per day. Now comes in chewable tablet and suspension forms.
  • Usual child dose: for seizures — children 6 to 12 years — one 100-milligram tablet taken 2 times per day or 1/2 teaspoonful taken 4 times per day. Doctor may increase at weekly intervals by adding 100 milligrams or 1 teaspoonful 3 or 4 times per day. Maximum dose is 1,000 milligrams per day divided into 3 or 4 doses. Maintenance dose — 400 to 800 milligrams per day. For children over 12 years — same as adult dose. May be prescribed by your doctor for children under 6 years.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Call your doctor if you miss more than 1 dose in a day. Do not double doses.

Tegretol Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

coma, convulsions, dizziness, drowsiness, inability to urinate, involuntary rapid eye movements, irregular or reduced breathing, lack or absence of urine, lack of coordination, low or high blood pressure, muscle twitching, nausea, pupil dilation, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, severe muscle spasm, shock, tremors, unconsciousness, vomiting, writhing movements. Most signs of overdose occur within 1 to 3 hours. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, unsteadiness, vomiting.

Less common Tegretol side effects: abdominal pain, abnormal heartbeat and rhythm, abnormal involuntary movements, abnormal sensitivity to sound, aching joints and muscles, agitation, anemia, blood clots, blurred vision, chills, confusion, congestive heart failure, constipation, depression, diarrhea, double vision, dry mouth and throat, fainting and collapse, fatigue, fever, fluid retention, frequent urination, hair loss, hallucinations, headache, hepatitis, hives, impotence, inability to urinate, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, inflamed eyes, involuntary movements of the eyeball, itching, kidney failure, labored breathing, leg cramps, liver disorders, loss of appetite, loss of coordination, low blood pressure, pneumonia, reddened skin, reddish or purplish skin spots, reduced urine volume, ringing in ears, sensitivity to light, skin inflammation and scaling, skin peeling, skin rashes, skin pigmentation changes, speech difficulties, stomach problems, sweating, talkativeness, tingling sensation, worsening of high blood pressure, yellow skin and eyes.

Interactions

Inform your doctor before combining Tegretol with:

antiseizure medications such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or primidone (Mysoline); may reduce effectiveness of Tegretol. Other anticonvulsants may change thyroid gland function. Haldol and Depakene may be reduced if taken with Tegretol. Erythromycin, cimetidine (Tagamet), Darvon, Rifamate, or calcium channel blockers such as Calan raise the amount of Tegretol in the bloodstream to dangerous levels. Lithium may cause serious nervous system side effects. Oral contraceptives combined with Tegretol may result in blood spotting and reduction in contraceptive’s effectiveness. Theo-Dur, Vibramycin, Dilantin, and Coumadin activity may be significantly affected.

No known food/other substance interactions.

Special Cautions

Birth defects have been reported with Tegretol use. If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

Doctor will monitor level of Tegretol in your blood to determine the correct dosage. Seniors may experience agitation or confusion with Tegretol.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully. Not generally prescribed for children under 6 years.

  • In rare cases may cause severe or fatal skin reactions. Immediately contact your doctor if you experience skin problems.
  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Talk with your doctor before starting Tegretol if you have; history of heart, liver, or kidney damage, adverse blood reaction to any medication, glaucoma, or allergic reactions to other medications.
  • Immediately inform your doctor if you experience: fever, sore throat, ulcers in the mouth, easy bruising, or red or purple skin spots. May be symptoms of a blood disorder caused by Tegretol.
  • Avoid if you have: history of bone marrow depression (reduced function), sensitivity to Tegretol, sensitivity to tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil, or if taking a MAO inhibitor such as Nardil or Parnate. Wait at least 2 weeks before starting Tegretol if you have taken MAO inhibitors.
  • Not prescribed for minor aches and pains.

Note:

HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Tegretol side effects, please contact your healthcare provider