What is Carbamazepine?
Carbamazepine belongs to a group of drugs called “antiepileptic”. It is a first line anti-epileptic drug and is also a drug of choice for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.
Manufactured By – Abbott Health Care Solutions Pvt Ltd
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Uses of Carbamazepine
Carbamazepine is most commonly used in the prevention and treatment of the following conditions:
- Partial seizures
- Generalized tonic-clonic seizures
- Mixed pattern seizures
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Bipolar disorder
- Serious manic depression
Carbamazepine may also be used for a purpose not mentioned above.
How does Carbamazepine work?
- Carbamazepine acts by decreasing the abnormal and excessive activity of the nerve cells thereby controlling the convulsions.
- In cases of trigeminal neuralgia, carbamazepine works by inhibiting certain nerve impulses. About 60% of patients respond well to carbamazepine. However, it is not useful in other neuropathic pains except trigeminal neuralgia.
Carbamazepine Price in India
|100 mg Strip of 10 Tablets||Rs 8.21|
|200 mg Strip of 10 Tablets||Rs 13.00|
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How to Take Carbamazepine?
- Carbamazepine is available in tablet form (100mg, 200mg and 400mg) and syrup form (100mg/5ml).
- When taken in oral form, it is advised to take this medicine along with meals.
- When taken in tablet form, swallow the tablet as a whole with plenty of fluids. Do not chew, break, or crush the tablet.
- When used in syrup form, always use a measuring cup to measure the accurate dose and shake the bottle well before each use.
- Always use Carbamazepine in a dose and frequency as advised. Never use more than the recommended dose or for longer periods as it can lead to severe side effects.
- In case of non-improvement of symptoms or symptoms getting worse, seek medical attention immediately.
Common Dosage & when to take Carbamazepine?
- The dose and frequency of Carbamazepine intake depend upon the condition of the patient and the initial response to the treatment.
- In order to reduce the incidence of side effects, the initial dose is usually smaller which can be gradually increased. As soon as desired results are achieved, the dose can be gradually reduced to the minimum effective level.
- For adults and children above 12 years suffering from epilepsy, the initial dose is 200mg tablet twice a day or 1 teaspoonful four times a day (400mg/day). This dose can be increased by adding up to 200mg/day at weekly intervals.
- Dosage should not exceed 1200mg per day. Maintenance dose can be adjusted to a minimum level of around 800 – 1200mg per day.
- For patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, the initial dose is 100mg tablets twice a day (total daily dose of 200mg). This dose can be further increased by 100mg every 12 hourly until desired results are obtained.
- Maintenance dose for trigeminal neuralgia patients can be maintained at 400-800mg per day.
- Attempts should be made every three months to reduce the minimum dose required for the maintenance of symptoms.
When to avoid Carbamazepine?
Carbamazepine should not be used or should be used with caution when:
- Allergic to any of its components
- People with liver or kidney problem
- Pregnant and breastfeeding females
- Bone marrow depression
- Patients on antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitor drugs
- Patients having suicidal thoughts or suffering from depression
- Patients with a heart problem
- Patients with glaucoma
Side effects of Carbamazepine?
Carbamazepine may produce multiple side effects, although they may not be common in all the patients. Commonly observed side effects:
- Impaired coordination
- Decreased WBC count
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Suicidal thoughts
- Allergic reactions
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Effects on organs?
- Patients with liver and kidney disease should administer Carbamazepine with caution and under the observation of a doctor.
- Central nervous system side effects are frequently seen in patients on carbamazepine therapy. Commonly observed effects- suicidal thoughts, dizziness, impaired coordination, speech disturbance, blurred vision, depression, headache etc.
Reported Allergic Reactions?
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Allergy with Carbamazepine may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Drug Interactions to Be Careful About
Drug interactions refer to the effect of drugs on each other and on human body following ingestion. Large numbers of medicine have shown interaction with each other. It is advised that the patient must always inform the physician about all the medicines/over the counter products/vitamin supplements used. Consult your doctor before administering any other drugs concomitantly with Carbamazepine. All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important ones include:
Shows Effects / Results In
- Carbamazepine doesn’t work immediately after oral administration. It may take few days to few weeks for complete recovery.
- Even if symptoms disappear, it should be taken until advised to stop by the doctor.
Is Carbamazepine Addictive?
No such tendency has been reported.
Can I have Carbamazepine with alcohol?
Concomitant administration of Carbamazepine with alcohol should be avoided as it may increase the risk of adverse effects like dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion.
Any particular food item to be avoided?
No alteration in its action seen with any food product.
Can I have Carbamazepine when Pregnant?
- Carbamazepine should be avoided during pregnancy as it may lead to adverse effects in foetus like the development of neural tube defects.
- Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the future before initiating Carbamazepine therapy.
Can I have Carbamazepine when feeding a baby?
Carbamazepine should not be used in breastfeeding women as the drug may pass into breast milk and lead to adverse effects in foetus.
Can I drive after taking Carbamazepine?
Few patients on Carbamazepine might exhibit drowsiness, dizziness or vision problems. Such patients should use Carbamazepine with caution while driving or operating heavy machinery.
What happens if I overdose on Carbamazepine?
- It should not be administered in more than prescribed dose or frequency.
- Taking more medication or with increased frequency can cause serious toxicity (irregular breathing, increased heartbeat, impaired consciousness, urinary retention, vomiting)
What happens if I eat expired Carbamazepine?
- The medicine may not work as well as the potency of the medicines decreases and also it may lead to some adverse effects.
- To be on the safer side, always check and never use an expired drug.
What happens if I miss a dose of Carbamazepine?
- The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose because, for effective working of the drug, a certain amount of drug must be present in your body at all times.
- Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember. But, if it is already time for the next dose – do not double the dose.
Storage of Carbamazepine
- Storage at room temperature away from direct heat and light.
- Keep medicines away from children and pets.
Pro Tips When Taking Carbamazepine
Carbamazepine should never be stopped abruptly even after symptoms have disappeared as it might lead to adverse effects (seizures).
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