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Chemical Name: Carbamazepine
Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is available in both generic and brand formulations. Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is a drug that affects the nerves and brain. It works by decreasing impulses in nerves that cause seizures and pain. Tegretol is used to treat seizures and nerve pain such as trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Tegretol is also used to treat bipolar disorder. Tegretol is used in the treatment of seizure disorders, including certain types of epilepsy. It is also prescribed for trigeminal neuralgia (severe pain in the jaws) and pain in the tongue and throat. In addition, some doctors use Tegretol to treat alcohol withdrawal, cocaine addiction, and emotional disorders such as depression and abnormally aggressive behavior. The drug is also used to treat migraine headache and "restless legs."
Tegretol Side Effects:
There are potentially dangerous side effects associated with the use of Tegretol. If you experience symptoms such as fever, sore throat, rash, ulcers in the mouth, easy bruising, or reddish or purplish spots on the skin, you should notify your doctor immediately. These symptoms could be signs of a blood disorder brought on by the drug.
Tegretol is given orally, usually in two or three divided doses. Tegretol may be taken during, after or between meals, with a little liquid e.g. a glass of water.
The chewtabs should be chewed before swallowing, preferably with a little liquid to wash down possible remnants of the tablets.
The chewtabs are particularly suitable for children and adults who have difficulty in swallowing tablets.
Epilepsy: Adults: It is advised that with all formulations of Tegretol, a gradually increasing dosage scheme is used and this should be adjusted to suit the needs of the individual patient. It may be helpful to monitor the plasma concentration of carbamazepine to establish the optimum dose.
Tegretol should be taken in a number of divided doses although initially 100-200mg once or twice daily is recommended. This may be followed by a slow increase until the best response is obtained, often 800-1200mg daily. In some instances, 1600mg or even 2000mg daily may be necessary.
Elderly:Due to the potential for drug interactions, the dosage of Tegretol should be selected with caution in elderly patients.
Children: It is advised that with all formulations of Tegretol, a gradually increasing dosage scheme is used and this should be adjusted to suit the needs of the individual patient. It may be helpful to monitor the plasma concentration of carbamazepine to establish the optimum dose, (see Pharmacokinetics, Precautions and Interactions).
Usual dosage 10-20mg/kg bodyweight daily taken in several divided doses.
Tegretol tablets are not recommended for very young children. 1-5 years: 2-4 x 100mg Chewtabs per day, where appropriate. 5-10 years: 2-3 x 200mg tablets per day, to be taken in divided doses. 10-15 years: 3-5 x 200mg tablets per day, to be taken in several divided doses.
Wherever possible, anti-epileptic agents should be prescribed as the sole anti-epileptic agent but if used in polytherapy the same incremental dosage pattern is advised.
When Tegretol is added to existing antiepileptic therapy, this should be done gradually while maintaining or, if necessary, adapting the dosage of the other antiepileptic(s) (see 4.5 Interaction with other Medicaments and other forms of Interaction).
Slowly raise the initial dosage of 200-400mg daily (100mg twice daily in elderly patients) until freedom from pain is achieved (normally at 200mg 3-4 times daily). In the majority of patients a dosage of 200mg 3 or 4 times a day is sufficient to maintain a pain free state. In some instances, doses of 1600mg Tegretol daily may be needed. However, once the pain is in remission, the dosage should be gradually reduced to the lowest possible maintenance level.
For the prophylaxis of manic depressive psychosis in patients unresponsive to lithium therapy:
Initial starting dose of 400mg daily, in divided doses, increasing gradually until symptoms are controlled or a total of 1600mg given in divided doses is reached. The usual dosage range is 400-600mg daily, given in divided doses.
The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
All prices are in US dollars.
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