carbamazepine (generic name)

It is used to control seizures caused by certain types of epilepsy
(kar ba MAZ e peen)
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What is this medicine?

CARBAMAZEPINE (kar ba MAZ e peen) is used to control seizures caused by certain types of epilepsy. This medicine is also used to treat nerve related pain. It is not for common aches and pains.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • Asian ancestry
  • bone marrow disease
  • glaucoma
  • heart disease or irregular heartbeat
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • porphyria
  • psychotic disorders
  • 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 or other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

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. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

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.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • delavirdine
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • nefazodone
  • oxcarbazepine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • acetaminophen
  • acetazolamide
  • barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures, like phenobarbital
  • certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin or troleandomycin
  • cimetidine
  • cyclosporine
  • danazol
  • dicumarol
  • doxycycline
  • female hormones, including estrogens and birth control pills
  • grapefruit juice
  • isoniazid, INH
  • levothyroxine and other thyroid hormones
  • lithium and other medicines to treat mood problems or psychotic disturbances
  • loratadine
  • 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
  • methadone
  • niacinamide
  • praziquantel
  • propoxyphene
  • rifampin or rifabutin
  • seizure or epilepsy medicine
  • steroid medicines such as prednisone or cortisone
  • theophylline
  • tramadol
  • warfarin

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Last Updated: July 15, 2011
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