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Healthnotes Index:

Carbamazepine

This form:

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Warning

Carbamazepine may rarely cause very serious (possibly fatal) skin reactions. Some people in certain ethnic groups (including people of Asian/South Asian descent) are at greater risk. Your doctor may order a blood test to measure your risk before prescribing this medication. If the blood test shows you are at greater risk, discuss the risks and benefits of carbamazepine and other treatment choices with your doctor. Such skin reactions have developed mostly within the first few months of treatment. Get medical help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: skin rash/blisters/peeling, itching, or swelling. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

This drug has rarely caused very serious blood disorders (aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis). Your doctor will monitor your blood counts to minimize the chance of these side effects. Keep all medical and laboratory appointments. Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), unusual weakness/tiredness, shortness of breath, or easy bleeding/bruising.

Precautions

Before taking carbamazepine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other anti-seizure medications (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin) or tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline, desipramine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: decreased bone marrow function (bone marrow depression), blood disorders (such as porphyria, anemia), glaucoma, heart disease (such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat), kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood disorders (such as depression), mineral imbalances (such as low levels of sodium or calcium in the blood ).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially, confusion, unsteadiness, or irregular heartbeat. Confusion and unsteadiness can increase the risk of falling. Older adults may also be at greater risk of developing a type of mineral imbalance (low levels of sodium in the blood), especially if they are also taking "water pills" (diuretics).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. However, since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, prenatal care that includes tests for defects is recommended. Since birth control pills, patches, implants, and injections may not work if taken with this medication (see also Drug Interactions section), discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, dry mouth, or unsteadiness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mouth sores, swollen lymph nodes, persistent vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, change in the amount of urine, persistent or severe headache, fainting, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, unusual eye movements (nystagmus), vision changes (such as blurred vision), joint pain, swelling of the ankles/feet, pain/redness/swelling of the arms or legs, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, sun sensitivity, signs of low levels of sodium in the blood (such as persistent nausea, extreme drowsiness, mental/mood changes including confusion, seizures).

A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizure, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor immediately if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

RxAnswers™ is a copyrighted combined product from Aisle7 and First DataBank, Inc.

Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

This information is intended only for residents of the United States. Products sold under the same brand names in other countries may contain different ingredients.

Learn more about First DataBank

There are some limitations on the information provided in “Nutrient Interactions.” Do NOT rely solely on the information in this article. Please read the disclaimer.

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Aisle7 and/or its suppliers make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of this content herein or that of any organization referred or linked to within this content and will not be liable for any damages arising out of your access to or use of any information found herein or that of any organization referred to within this content.

Information expires June 2015.



 
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