Tegretol is used for controlling certain types of epileptic seizures. It is also used to treat severe pain of the jaw or cheek caused by a facial nerve problem (trigeminal neuralgia). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
How to use
Use Tegretol as directed by your doctor.
Take Tegretol by mouth with or without food.
Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may increase the risk of this medicine's side effects. Talk with your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet.
Do not suddenly stop taking Tegretol . You may have an increase risk of side effects (e.g., seizures). If you need to stop Tegretol or add a new medicine, your doctor will gradually lower your dose.
Take Tegretol on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
Taking Tegretol at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
Continue to take Tegretol even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Tegretol.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Tegretol is an anticonvulsant. It works to control seizures by blocking certain nerve impulses in the brain. It works to treat trigeminal neuralgia by altering nerve impulses in certain facial nerves, which relieves pain.
If you miss a dose of Tegretol, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Tegretol at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Tegretol out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Do not use Tegretol if:
you are allergic to any ingredient in Tegretol;
you are allergic to tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), cyclobenzaprine, or similar medicines;
you have a history of bone marrow problems, the blood disorder porphyria, or other serious blood disorders;
you have a severe heart problem called heart block (atrioventricular block);
you are taking nefazodone;
you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (e.g., phenelzine) or have taken an MAOI within the last 14 days.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Tegretol may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Tegretol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
Do not take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
Tegretol may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
Tegretol may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
Tegretol may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Tegretol. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Tegretol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
Do not switch from the tablets form of Tegretol to the suspension form without checking with your doctor. The same dose may not have the same effects.
Tegretol may interfere with certain lab tests, including thyroid function tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using Tegretol.
Tegretol may cause the results of some pregnancy tests to be wrong. Check with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy test results.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Tegretol 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 Tegretol while you are pregnant. Tegretol is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Tegretol.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; nausea; unsteadiness; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry, or bloody stools; calf pain, swelling, or tenderness; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; decreased coordination; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; joint pain; loss of appetite; mental or mood changes; pain, tenderness, or unusual swelling in the neck, groin, or under the arms; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath; speech problems; stomach pain; sudden unusual weight gain; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; swollen lymph nodes; ulcers or sores in the mouth; uncontrolled muscle movements; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness; vision or eye problems; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Tegretol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.