The Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant drug which reduces electrical activity in the brain.
What is carbamazepine used for?
It is used alone or in combination with other medicines in order to keep under control some types of seizures associated with epilepsy .It is also used to treat neuralgia and psychiatric disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder, abstinence from drugs or alcohol, manias and depression. Finally, it can be prescribed in case of diabetes insipidus , some pain syndromes, chorea and restless legs syndrome.
How is carbamazepine taken?
It is administered orally in the form of tablets, chewable tablets, prolonged-release tablets or capsules (to be swallowed strictly whole) and suspensions.
The prolonged-release forms usually include 2 assumptions per day (in the case of tablets, with meals). The other formulations provide for 2 to 4 doses per day, to be taken with food.
Side effects of carbamazepine
Potential side effects include:
- state of constipation
- discharge of diarrhea
- feeling sick
- memory problems
- dry mouth
- feeling sleepy
It is advisable to seek medical attention immediately if they appear:
- confused state
- chest pain
- loss of contact with reality
- visual problems
Contraindications and warnings of carbamazepine
It can increase the activity of hormonal contraceptives. It could also compromise the ability to drive and maneuver dangerous machinery. It must not be taken together with MAO inhibitors , even if therapy has ended within the previous 2 weeks. Furthermore, the liquid formulation must not be accompanied by the simultaneous administration of other drugs in liquid form.
In addition, before taking it, you must inform your doctor:
- about the presence of allergies to the active substance or to other drugs, in particular to anticonvulsants and antidepressants;
- of the other medicines, phytotherapy and supplements already taken in the past, remembering to mention in particular anxiolytics, psychotropic drugs, drugs against convulsions, methadone, nefazodone, niacinamide, propoxifene, praziquantel, quinine, rifampin, sedatives, drugs against insomnia, terfenadine, theophylline, tramadol, tranquilizers, troleandomycin, verapamil, zileuton, St. John’s wort, paracetamol, acetazolamide, alprazolam, anticoagulants, antidepressants, antifungals, cimetidine, cisplatin, clarithromycin, clonazepam, dyraphrazine, clozristin , diltiazem, doxorubicin, doxycycline, erythromycin, felodipine, haloperidol, drugs against HIV, isoniazid, levothyroxine, lithium, loratadine, lorazepam and antimalarials;
- if you suffer (or have suffered in the past) from glaucoma, psychosis or cardiovascular, kidney, liver or thyroid disease;
- in the case of pregnant or breastfeeding women.
It is always necessary to let doctors, surgeons and dentists know about your intake.