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Tegretol

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/2/2020
Tegretol Side Effects Center

What Is Tegretol?

Tegretol (carbamazepine) is an anticonvulsant used to treat seizures and nerve pain such as trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Tegretol is also used to treat bipolar disorder. Tegretol is available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Tegretol?

Common side effects of Tegretol (as your body adjusts to the medication) include:

Dosage for Tegretol

The starting dose of Tegretol to treat epilepsy in adults and children over 12 years of age is 200 mg twice daily for tablets and XR tablets, or 1 tsp 4 times daily for suspension (400 mg/day). Usual maintenance dose is 800-1200 mg daily. The starting dose to treat trigeminal neuralgia is 100 mg twice daily for tablets or XR tablets, or ½ tsp 4 times daily for suspension, for a total daily dose of 200 mg. Control of pain is maintained in most patients with 400-800 mg daily. Consult your doctor for pediatric doses.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Tegretol?

Many other medicines interact with Tegretol. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use, especially theophylline, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, antibiotics, drugs to treat tuberculosis, antifungal medications, blood thinners, cancer medicines, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV or AIDS medications, medications to treat depression or mental illness, medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection, other seizure medications, steroids, or thyroid replacement medications.

Tegretol During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, Tegretol should be used only when prescribed. It may harm a fetus. Since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm a pregnant woman and her baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are pregnant, prenatal care including tests for defects is recommended. Hormonal birth control may not work if taken with this medication. Discuss birth control with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Additional Information

Our Tegretol (carbamazepine) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

QUESTION

If you have had a seizure, it means you have epilepsy. See Answer
Tegretol Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes. Symptoms may occur several weeks after you start using carbamazepine.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: sudden mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, irritable, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • loss of appetite, right-sided upper stomach pain, dark urine;
  • slow, fast, or pounding heartbeats;
  • anemia or other blood problems--fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, pale skin, easy bruising, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath; or
  • low levels of sodium in the body--headache, confusion, severe weakness, feeling unsteady, increased seizures.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, loss of coordination, problems with walking;
  • nausea, vomiting; or
  • drowsiness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)

IMAGES

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Tegretol Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

If adverse reactions are of such severity that the drug must be discontinued, the physician must be aware that abrupt discontinuation of any anticonvulsant drug in a responsive epileptic patient may lead to seizures or even status epilepticus with its life-threatening hazards.

The most severe adverse reactions have been observed in the hemopoietic system and skin (see BOXED WARNING), the liver, and the cardiovascular system.

The most frequently observed adverse reactions, particularly during the initial phases of therapy, are dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea, and vomiting. To minimize the possibility of such reactions, therapy should be initiated at the lowest dosage recommended.

The following additional adverse reactions have been reported:

Hemopoietic System

Aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, bone marrow depression, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, leukocytosis, eosinophilia, acute intermittent porphyria, variegate porphyria, porphyria cutanea tarda.

Skin

Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) (see BOXED WARNING), Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP), pruritic and erythematous rashes, urticaria, photosensitivity reactions, alterations in skin pigmentation, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme and nodosum, purpura, aggravation of disseminated lupus erythematosus, alopecia, diaphoresis, onychomadesis and hirsutism. In certain cases, discontinuation of therapy may be necessary.

Cardiovascular System

Congestive heart failure, edema, aggravation of hypertension, hypotension, syncope and collapse, aggravation of coronary artery disease, arrhythmias and AV block, thrombophlebitis, thromboembolism (e.g., pulmonary embolism), and adenopathy or lymphadenopathy.

Some of these cardiovascular complications have resulted in fatalities. Myocardial infarction has been associated with other tricyclic compounds.

Liver

Abnormalities in liver function tests, cholestatic and hepatocellular jaundice, hepatitis, very rare cases of hepatic failure.

Pancreatic

Pancreatitis.

Respiratory System

Pulmonary hypersensitivity characterized by fever, dyspnea, pneumonitis, or pneumonia.

Genitourinary System

Urinary frequency, acute urinary retention, oliguria with elevated blood pressure, azotemia, renal failure, and impotence. Albuminuria, glycosuria, elevated BUN, and microscopic deposits in the urine have also been reported. There have been rare reports of impaired male fertility and/or abnormal spermatogenesis.

Testicular atrophy occurred in rats receiving Tegretol orally from 4 to 52 weeks at dosage levels of 50 to 400 mg/kg/day. Additionally, rats receiving Tegretol in the diet for 2 years at dosage levels of 25, 75, and 250 mg/kg/day had a dose-related incidence of testicular atrophy and aspermatogenesis. In dogs, it produced a brownish discoloration, presumably a metabolite, in the urinary bladder at dosage levels of 50 mg/kg and higher. Relevance of these findings to humans is unknown.

Nervous System

Dizziness, drowsiness, disturbances of coordination, confusion, headache, fatigue, blurred vision, visual hallucinations, transient diplopia, oculomotor disturbances, nystagmus, speech disturbances, abnormal involuntary movements, peripheral neuritis and paresthesias, depression with agitation, talkativeness, tinnitus, hyperacusis, neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

There have been reports of associated paralysis and other symptoms of cerebral arterial insufficiency, but the exact relationship of these reactions to the drug has not been established.

Isolated cases of neuroleptic malignant syndrome have been reported both with and without concomitant use of psychotropic drugs.

Digestive System

Nausea, vomiting, gastric distress and abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, anorexia, and dryness of the mouth and pharynx, including glossitis and stomatitis.

Eyes

Scattered punctate cortical lens opacities, increased intraocular pressure (see WARNINGS, General) as well as conjunctivitis, have been reported. Although a direct causal relationship has not been established, many phenothiazines and related drugs have been shown to cause eye changes.

Musculoskeletal System

Aching joints and muscles, and leg cramps.

Metabolism

Fever and chills. Hyponatremia (see WARNINGS, General). Decreased levels of plasma calcium have been reported. Osteoporosis has been reported.

Isolated cases of a lupus erythematosus-like syndrome have been reported. There have been occasional reports of elevated levels of cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in patients taking anticonvulsants.

A case of aseptic meningitis, accompanied by myoclonus and peripheral eosinophilia, has been reported in a patient taking carbamazepine in combination with other medications. The patient was successfully dechallenged, and the meningitis reappeared upon rechallenge with carbamazepine.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

No evidence of abuse potential has been associated with Tegretol, nor is there evidence of psychological or physical dependence in humans.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)

SLIDESHOW

Epilepsy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment See Slideshow

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