Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine. Your doctor may want to have certain tests done to see if you are receiving the right amount of medicine or if certain side effects may be occurring without you knowing it. Also, the amount of medicine you are receiving may have to be changed often.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Do not use carbamazepine together with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or during the first 14 days after you stop taking a MAOI. MAOIs are used for depression and some examples are isocarboxazid (Marplan®), phenelzine (Nardil®), selegiline (Eldepryl®), or tranylcypromine (Parnate®). Do not use this medicine together with boceprevir (Victrelis®), delavirdine (Rescriptor®), and nefazodone (Serzone®).

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, a fever, or chills while you are using this medicine.

Check with your doctor right away if a fever, sore throat, rash, ulcers in the mouth, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, swollen glands, or small red or purple spots on the skin occur. These could be symptoms of a serious blood problem.

Carbamazepine may cause serious allergic reactions affecting multiple body organs (eg, liver or kidney). Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: a fever, dark urine, headache, rash, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin.

Carbamazepine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you or your caregiver notice any of these unwanted effects, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that cause drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures (eg, barbiturates), muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, or less alert than they are normally, especially when they are starting treatment or increasing the dose. It may also cause blurred or double vision, weakness, or loss of muscle control in some people. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert and well-coordinated or able to see well.

Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Do not stop using this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. This may help prevent worsening of seizures and reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms.

Birth control pills containing estrogen may not work properly if you take them while you are using carbamazepine. Unplanned pregnancies may occur. Use a different or additional means of birth control while you are taking carbamazepine. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may increase the effects of this medicine by increasing the amount in the body. You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are receiving this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.