"Dec. 2, 2010 -- Babies born to women who take the antiseizure drug carbamazepine have a more than twofold increased risk for the birth defect spina bifida, a study shows.
But researchers say the drug still has less risk of birth defects"...
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
CARBAMAZEPINE EXTENDED-RELEASE - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Carbatrol, Tegretol XR
WARNING: Carbamazepine may rarely cause very serious (possibly fatal) skin reactions. Some people in certain ethnic groups (including people of Asian/South Asian descent) are at greater risk. Your doctor may order a blood test to measure your risk before prescribing this medication. If the blood test shows you are at greater risk, discuss the risks and benefits of carbamazepine and other treatment choices with your doctor. Such skin reactions have developed mostly within the first few months of treatment. Get medical help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: skin rash/blisters/peeling, itching, or swelling. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This drug has rarely caused very serious blood disorders (aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis). Your doctor will monitor your blood counts to minimize the chance of these side effects. Keep all medical and laboratory appointments. Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), unusual weakness/tiredness, shortness of breath, or easy bleeding/bruising.
USES: Carbamazepine is used to prevent and control seizures. This medication is known as an anticonvulsant or anti-epileptic drug. It is also used to relieve certain types of nerve pain (such as trigeminal neuralgia). This medication works by reducing the spread of seizure activity in the brain and restoring the normal balance of nerve activity.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to treat certain mental/mood conditions (such as bipolar disorder) and other types of nerve pain.
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using carbamazepine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are taking the extended-release tablets, take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 times a day. Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing. Inspect the tablets for chips and cracks. Do not take any damaged tablets.
If you are taking the extended-release capsules, take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 times a day. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush or chew the capsules.
If you have trouble swallowing the capsules, you may open them and sprinkle the contents onto a teaspoonful of applesauce or other soft food. Swallow all of the drug/food mixture immediately. Do not chew the mixture or prepare a supply in advance.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions (such as seizures) may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Additional Carbatrol Information
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