Generic Name: Carbamazepine Tablets (KAR ba MAZ e peen)
Brand Name: Epitol, Tegretol
- Unsafe blood cell count problems may happen. This includes a type of anemia called aplastic anemia and a type of low white blood cell count. Report any fever, shortness of breath, feeling very tired or weak, any unexplained bruising or bleeding, or purple "splotches" on your skin to your doctor right away.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection like fever, chills, flu-like signs, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or a wound that will not heal.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- The chance of very bad and sometimes deadly skin reactions is raised in people who have a certain gene called HLA-B*1502. This gene type is most common in Asian people. The doctor may check blood work before starting Epitol (carbamazepine tablets). Talk with the doctor.
Uses of Epitol:
- It is used to treat seizures.
- It is used to treat pain caused by a problem with a nerve in the face.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Epitol?
- If you have an allergy to carbamazepine or any other part of this medicine.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have had any of these health problems: Bone marrow disease or porphyria.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Boceprevir, delavirdine, efavirenz, etravirine, nefazodone, nevirapine, rilpivirine, or another drug that has carbamazepine in it.
- If you have taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for Parkinson's disease like selegiline or rasagiline in the last 14 days. Taking Epitol within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Epitol with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Epitol?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Epitol affects you.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Have an eye exam as you have been told by your doctor.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take this medicine.
- This medicine may cause the results of some pregnancy tests to be wrong. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Do not switch brands or types of Epitol (like tablets, liquid) unless you talk with the doctor. They may not work the same.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with this medicine. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.
- Patients who take Epitol may be at a greater risk of having thoughts or actions of suicide. The risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. Call the doctor right away if signs like low mood (depression), nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or changes in mood or actions are new or worse. Call the doctor right away if any thoughts or actions of suicide occur.
- Heart block has happened with this medicine. Most of the time, this happened in people who already had or were at risk for an abnormal heartbeat. Call your doctor right away if you have a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- This medicine may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking Epitol with your other drugs.
- If you are 65 or older, use this medicine with care. You could have more side effects.
- Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking Epitol (carbamazepine tablets).
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking this medicine, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Epitol) best taken?
Use Epitol as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not stop taking this medicine all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of seizures. If you need to stop this drug, you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor.
- Keep taking Epitol as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Take with food.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures, or change in balance.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- If seizures are worse or not the same after starting this medicine.
- Change in speech.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Not able to control eye movements.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Slow heartbeat.
- Change in eyesight.
- Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
- Swollen gland.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Very bad muscle or joint pain.
- Trouble controlling body movements.
- A burning or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.
What are some other side effects of Epitol?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Dry mouth.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Epitol?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Epitol is refilled. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Epitol or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Epitol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
Review Date: September 6, 2017
More about Epitol (carbamazepine)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
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- Drug class: dibenzazepine anticonvulsants