Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant. It works by reducing the electrical activity in the brain.


What is Carbamazepine?

Carbamazepine is used alone or in combination with other medications to help control certain types of seizures associated to epilepsy.

It is also used in cases to treat neuralgia and psychiatric disorders such as mania, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and abstinence from drugs or alcohol. Finally, it may be prescribed in cases of restless legs syndrome, diabetes insipidus, certain pain syndromes and chorea.


How should Carbamazepine be taken?

Carbamazepine is taken orally in the form of tablets, chewable tablets, extended-release capsules (strictly to be swallowed whole) and tablets for oral suspension.

Extended-release capsules are typically consumed in two doses daily (when taken in the form of tablets, they should be taken with meals). Other forms of Carbamazepine are taken in 2-4 doses daily with food. 


Side effects associated with Carbamazepine

Possible side effects of Carbamazepine include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Instability
  • Backache
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Memory problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting


You should contact a doctor immediately if the drug triggers:

  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Jaundice
  • Loss of contact with reality
  • Vision problems


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Carbamazepine

Carbamazepine may increase the activity of hormonal contraceptives. It can also impair the ability to drive or operate hazardous machinery.


Carbamazepine should not be taken together with MAO inhibitors, even in cases where treatment has been completed two weeks prior. In addition, the liquid form of the drug should not be taken with other drugs of liquid form.


Before taking carbamazepine, it is important to inform your doctor:

  • If you have any allergies to the active substance or other drugs. Mentioning in particular anticonvulsants and antidepressants
  • If you are taking any other medicines, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular: paracetamol, acetazolamide, alprazolam, anticoagulants, antidepressants, antifungals, cimetidine, cisplatin, clarithromycin, clonazepam, clozapine, cyclosporine, dalfopristin, quinupristin, danazol, delavirdine, diltiazem, doxorubicin, doxycycline, erythromycin, felodipine, haloperidol, HIV medications, isoniazid, levothyroxine, lithium, loratadine, lorazepam, anti-malarials, anti-anxiety drugs, psychotropic drugs, drugs for seizures, methadone, nefazodone, niacinamide, propoxyphene, praziquantel, quinine, rifampin, sedatives, drugs for insomnia, terfenadine, theophylline, tramadol, tranquilizers, troleandomycin, verapamil, zileuton and St. John's wort
  • If you suffer (or have suffered) from glaucoma, psychosis or cardiovascular disease, kidney, liver or thyroid disease
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding


In any case, it is important to inform surgeons and dentists of any ongoing treatment with Carbamazepine.