Carbamazepine is a prescription medication, which is used inthe treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder, trigeminal neuralgia, and otherpsychological and anxiety disorders. Due to its characteristics of an anticonvulsantand mood stabilizer, it can be helpful in cases of schizophrenia,post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder andmany others. It is known under several other trade names, and it can be foundin various forms, but the form, as well as the dosage that will be prescribed, depend on the disease forthe treatment of which it is used.
Various side effects are possible when using thismedication, which is why the doctor has to be very careful and well informed whenprescribing it, as well as the patient who is about to take it, because it isvery important to use it exactly as prescribed. However, the majority of the mostfrequent unwanted symptoms is only temporary, and does not need special medicalattention. These symptoms usually disappear as soon as the body is adjusted to themedication, and they include nausea, dizziness, vomiting and sleepiness. Lessfrequent symptoms are sweating, sensitivity to the sun, the growth of hair onface or other parts of the body where they did not grow before, headaches, crampsin the legs, changes in the color of the skin and problems with vision. However,it should be emphasized that some of these symptoms haven’t officially been proved to be theconsequence of carbamazepine use.
Some of the side effects that do require medical attentionas soon as possible are hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, depression, signsthat may indicate conditions such as congestive heart failure, liver or kidney problems,allergic reaction, and low levels of sodium in the blood.
How to reduce therisk of side effects to a minimum?
In order to reduce the risk of possible side effects, thedoctor has to make sure that the patients do not suffer from some heartdisease, arrhythmia, anemia, glaucoma, thyroid problems, and liver or kidneydiseases. In case they do suffer from some of these conditions, the doctor hasto make the right adjustment of the dosage, because the patient probablyalready uses some other medications for the treatment.
Carbamazepine should notbe used in combination with alcohol, antidepressants, certain antibiotics, antipsychotics,and hormone contraceptives, as well as it should not be used along with thegrapefruit juice, because the level of carbamazepine in the blood may be raisedmore than it is allowed. Carbamazepine may interact with a number of othermedications, but the doctor is the one who should inform and warn each patient aboutthat.