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What are the effects (short or long term) of tegretol if the person is pregnant?

Responses (2)

Marvell 6 Nov 2010

Short term side effects are what the mother will experience as general known side effects, which can be seen in the link below.

Long term side effects would be if the baby is affected.


Carbamazepine Sustained-Release Capsules has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Carbamazepine Sustained-Release Capsules while pregnant. Carbamazepine Sustained-Release Capsules are found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Carbamazepine Sustained-Release Capsules.
Carbamazepine Pregnancy Warnings

A prospective controlled study of 210 women treated with carbamazepine at least during the first trimester has suggested a twofold increase in the rate of major congenital anomalies. The results were 12/160 in the carbamazepine group versus 18/560 in the general control. There was also a birth weight reduction of approximately 250 g after in utero exposure to carbamazepine. A prospective case control cohort study of pregnant women with epilepsy has reported an association between carbamazepine therapy and fetal death and anomalies. In that study, carbamazepine was associated with the lowest risk of three major antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin, phenobarbital, and carbamazepine). The relative risk of abnormal outcome was 0.019 in carbamazepine-treated women. In one study of 100 pregnancies in which the mothers were taking carbamazepine, 7 malformed offspring were reported. No significant differences in carbamazepine and metabolite levels were observed between those pregnancies which ended in malformation and those pregnancies which ended in normal offspring. Many of the epileptic women in this study were taking other antiseizure medications. Another study has suggested that carbamazepine exerts no negative effects on neurodevelopment in children exposed to carbamazepine in utero. In one case of massive overdose of carbamazepine during the third or fourth week post-conception, the fetus developed a large neural tube defect. A case of transient cholestatic hepatitis has been reported in an infant between the third and seventh weeks of life. The author of the report stated that it was "most likely due to carbamazepine exposure during pregnancy and breast feeding." To provide information regarding the effects of in utero exposure to carbamazepine, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking carbamazepine enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry. This can be done by calling the toll free number 1-888-233-2334, and must be done by patients themselves. Information on the registry can also be found at the website

Carbamazepine has been assigned to pregnancy category C by the FDA. Anomalies similar to the fetal hydantoin syndrome have been described and include minor craniofacial defects, fingernail hypoplasia, and developmental delay. Other investigators have reported a variety of defects including spina bifida and a decrease in intelligence. Carbamazepine may be a teratogen, although studies of its effects during pregnancy are inconclusive. Carbamazepine should only be given during pregnancy if benefit outweighs risk.

TIchick 30 Dec 2010

I was on tegretol when pregnant (we think thats why birth control pills didn't work,) Pregnancy was normal and to term. My son is almost 19 yrs. old, very smart, in college, athletic, and handsome (okay, maybe thats the mom in me). I was pregnant two and a half years later and even though the doc wasn't crazy about me being on the meds I didn't want to risk the seizures or losing driving privleges, my third child was born. Same outcome, I am lucky my dose is low, 200 2x day, so I don't know if I'm the norm or not. Good luck!

Miss Melissa 7 Oct 2011

I am also on a low dose, 200mg 2x a day. Two wonderful daughters, 12 and 15. No problems either. free discount card

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