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 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. If you are taking this medicine for epilepsy (seizures) do not stop taking it suddenly. This increases the risk of seizures. Wear a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace. Carry an identification card with information about your condition, medications, and 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.

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
  • breathing problems
  • change in vision
  • confusion
  • dark urine
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • fever or chills, sore throat
  • mouth ulcers
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • ringing in the ears
  • seizures
  • stomach pain
  • swollen joints or muscle/joint aches and pains
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired
  • vomiting
  • 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):

  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • nausea

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children.

Store at room temperature below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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Last Updated: July 15, 2011
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