Carbamazepine – Antiepileptogenic with Neuroprotective and Psychotropic Effects

Carbamazepine prescribed to control seizures in patients with epilepsy, and is also commonly used to treat pain caused by nerve damage (neuralgia). Carbamazepine can also be used to treat a wide range of mental illnesses and neurological conditions caused by an imbalance in signals or neurotransmitters. Carbamazepine belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants.

Carbamazepine works by:

  1. reducing the rate of nerve impulses that cause seizures and neuropathic pain,
  2. blocking the action of some neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, noradrenaline, which makes it effective in controlling some mental disorders caused by an imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters.

Carbamazepine Brand names & Pharmaceutical Forms

Carbamazepine sold under different brand & gerneric names such as:

  1. Tegretol
  2. Carbatol
  3. Neurotop
  4. Epitol
  5. Equetro
  6. Tonoclone
  7. Carbapex
  8. Epimazepine
  9. Mazemal
  10. Neurofutal
  11. Tegral
  12. Tegrapin

Carbamazepine comes in five forms

  1. oral immediate-release tablet,
  2. oral extended-release tablet,
  3. oral chewable tablet,
  4. oral suspension,
  5. and oral extended-release capsule.

What are the uses of Carbamazepine?

Carbamazepine, prescribed as a monotherapy or in combination with other medicines, in the following cases:

  1. Control of certain types of seizures or epileptic seizures – It should be noted that Carbamazepine is not suitable for all patients with epilepsy, and will not be effective in controlling certain types of seizures such as absence seizures or myoclonic seizures.
  2. Treatment of alcohol withdrwal syndrome, which is a group of syndrome symptoms that often affect alcoholics when they stop drinking. Carbamazepine relieves withdrawal symptoms such as hyperexcitability, tremors, and other abnormalities.
  3. Control  withdrawal symptoms  of drug-addiction.
  4. Treating some problems caused by nerve damage, such as numbness and tingling.
  5. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy, which is pain and numbness that often affects diabetics’ extremities (feet and hands).
  6. Analgesic for neuralgia, such as trigeminal neuralgia (facial neuralgia) or sciatic nerve pain, or any pain caused by pressure or damage to nerve fibers.
  7. Treating some mental disorders, such as manic episodes and bipolar depression.

Carbamazepine dosage

The dose of Carbamazepine is determined individually for each patient, according to the following factors: ① the patient’s age and weight ② response to treatment ③ liver and kidney function ④ other medications the patient is taking ⑤ other factors.

Most of the time, your doctor will prescribe, depending on your condition, a low dose at first, then gradually increase the dose over time. Its effectiveness begins within four hours, and lasts for 12 to 24 hours, but it takes at least three weeks of continuous use for the patient to feel better – full effect of Carbamazipine appears after 3 weeks of continuous use.

Dosage of Carbamazepine is taken by mouth, with or without food. It is advisable to take your dose in the same way every day, meaning if you decide to take your dose after food, do it every time, and do not take your dose once before food and once after food.

It may take several weeks or longer before the patient feels the full benefit from Carbamazepine.

A low dose is usually prescribed at the beginning of use, then the dose is gradually increased until it reaches the appropriate dose for your condition.

You should know that Carbamazepine may make you feel drowsy or dizzy, and may slow down your reactions and may lead to a loss of neuromuscular coordination. Therefore, you should avoid driving a car or operating machinery until you know how Carbamazepine affects you.

Be aware that drinking alcoholic beverages may increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by Carbamazepine.

You must continue to use Carbamazepine, even if you feel better or if your symptoms or seizures disappear. You should not stop taking Carbamazepine without talking to your doctor, as stopping it suddenly may lead to withdrawal symptoms, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, nausea, diarrhea, headache, or convulsions. Usually, your doctor will advise you to stop Carbamazepine gradually.

Before Carbamazepine

Carbamazepine causes changes in Behaviour

For the patient’s family: You should know that treatment with Carbamazepine may be accompanied by unusual changes in behavior or mood and changes in mental health, which may include the following:

  1. Suicidal tendencies, thoughts and behaviors.
  2. Agressive behaviour .
  3. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  4. panic attacks
  5. Depression, insomnia and anxiety.
  6. obsession
  7. Excited mood.
  8. Withdrawal from friends and family.

Therefore, it is necessary for the patient’s family to be aware of these symptoms, so that they can ask for help, as the patient in such case is unable to seek medical help by him/herself, especially during the period of thinking of harming him/herself.

Carbamazepine makes you drowsy

Take care of your child: If your child is being treated with Carbamazepine, you must supervise him during activities that require full alertness. He should not be left alone to climb trees or play games that require mental alertness and muscle coordination, until you are sure that he can perform these activities safely.

Do not make your child play electronic games on PlayStation devices for long periods of more than two hours continuously, because this may stimulate seizures.

You should know that Carbamazepine may make the patient feel drowsy or dizzy, and may slow down patient’s reflexes and It may lead to a loss of neuromuscular coordination, so you should avoid driving a car or operating machinery until you know how Carbamazepine affects you, and make sure that he can practice these activities safely.

Carbamazepine may  rarely cause sever skin condition

Stevens-Johnson syndrome: Rarely, Carbamazepine may cause a serious rash. This rash can be serious enough to stop treatment, require hospitalization, or cause permanent disability or death.  Patients of Asian descent are more susceptible to these dangerous rashes.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had a skin rash after taking Carbamazepine or any other medicines for epilepsy. Children from 2 to 16 years of age who are treated with Carbamazepine are more likely to develop this dangerous rash than adults who take the drug.

The doctor will start treatment with a low dose, then increase the dose gradually, as the dose must be increased slowly (the increase should be once every 1 to 2 weeks). The patient may be more likely to develop a rash if the initial dose is high, or if the rate of dose increase is rapid. A serious rash may appear within the first 2 to 8 weeks of treatment, however it can develop at any time during treatment.

Whats are side effects of Carbamazepine?

  1. drowsiness.
  2. Dizziness.
  3. Unsteadiness during movement.
  4. nausea.
  5. vomiting.
  6. headache.
  7. memory problems
  8. Diarrhea, and in some cases constipation.
  9. heartburn.
  10. Dry mouth.
  11. Backache.

Recommended to read Carbamazepine – FAQs – from the link here


Referance Code: N03AF01

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