What is this medicine?
CARBAMAZEPINE (kar ba MAZ e peen) is used to treat mixed and manic episodes of bipolar disorder.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Take this medicine with or without food. The capsules can be opened and the beads sprinkled over food such as applesauce or other similar food product. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in vision
fast or irregular heartbeat
fever or chills, sore throat
pain or difficulty passing urine
redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
ringing in the ears
swollen joints or muscle/joint aches and pains
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusually weak or tired
worsening of mood, thoughts or actions of suicide or dying
yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures, like phenobarbital
certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin or troleandomycin
female hormones, including estrogens and birth control pills
levothyroxine and other thyroid hormones
lithium and other medicines to treat mood problems or psychotic disturbances
medicines for angina or high blood pressure
medicines for cancer
medicines for depression or anxiety
medicines for sleep
medicines to treat fungal infections, like fluconazole, itraconazole or ketoconazole
medicines used to treat HIV infection or AIDS
rifampin or rifabutin
seizure or epilepsy medicine
steroid medicines such as prednisone or cortisone
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees C). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
bone marrow disease
heart disease or irregular heartbeat
suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
an unusual or allergic reaction to carbamazepine, tricyclic antidepressants, phenytoin, phenobarbital other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for a regular check on your progress. Do not change brands or dosage forms of this medicine without discussing the change with your doctor or health care professional.
You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.
Women who become pregnant while using this medicine may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy.