Tegretol

Tegretol is a form of prescription drug used for the treatment of seizures or epileptic events. Tegretol comes in a wide variety of different tablets and oral suspension forms, to help individuals get the most out of their medication. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

Service
Instruction costs (includes consult & service fee)
Service – Instruction costs (includes consult & service fee)
Patient Leaflet(s)

Tegretol is a branded version of the generic drug carbamazepine, which is a substance intended for the management of seizures. This substance is an anti-epileptic or anticonvulsant drug that can help to remove certain forms of nerve pain and reduce the spread of a seizure activity in the brain. Tegretol improves the natural balance of nerve activity, keeping the risk of dangerous side effects to a minimum. 

What is Tegretol? 

Tegretol is a form of prescription drug used for the treatment of seizures or epileptic events. Tegretol comes in a wide variety of different tablets and oral suspension forms, to help individuals get the most out of their medication. Although Tegretol is one of the most common ways to be prescribed the active ingredient of carbamazepine, there is a chance that your doctor will also prescribe you the generic form of this medication, or a slightly different brand.  

Tegretol is a form of anti-convulsant or anti-epileptic medication that can help to reduce the severity and symptoms of an epileptic seizure. This medication may be used as part of a more comprehensive treatment for epilepsy.  

When is Tegretol used? 

Tegretol is prescribed to treat the seizures and nerve pain often caused by epilepsy. Tegretol uses the active ingredient carbamazepine, which belongs to the anti-convulsant family of drugs. While it is most common for Tegretol to be prescribed to help manage epilepsy and the seizures that occur as a result of this condition, there are cases when your doctor might choose to prescribe this drug for other reasons too.  

When used for epilepsy, Tegretol is best for controlling partial seizures, generalized seizures and combined seizure patterns which can have various different effects on the body. In some cases Tegretol may also be used for the treatment of a condition responsible for causing pain in the facial nerves called trigeminal neuralgia.  

At this time, doctors and scientists aren't completely aware of how Tegretol treats epilepsy and other conditions that cause nerve pain. Although it is known that Tegretol blocks the currents for sodium in the body and brain, doctors aren't sure about the effects that this has. Experts believe that Tegretol can reduce some of the abnormal electrical activity in the body that occurs between nerve cells during a seizure.  

How do you use Tegretol? 

Whenever you begin taking a new medication like Tegretol, it is important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor carefully and read through the medication leaflet that comes with your pills. Make sure that you speak to your pharmacist if you have any questions about how Tegretol works.  

Tegretol is often given in pill or oral suspension form. If you are taking the pill, then swallow it with a glass of water as directed by your doctor. Tegretol is usually taken with food to reduce your risk of stomach issues. If you are using the oral suspension liquid version of Tegretol, make sure that you share the bottle thoroughly before you measure each dose. You will need to be careful when measuring your dosage, as you could risk a higher chance of side effects if you get your dose wrong.  

Make sure that you avoid drinking or eating any form of grapefruit or grapefruit juice when you are using this medication unless your doctor says otherwise. In some cases, grapefruit may increase your risk of side effects with this medication.  

Tegretol must be taken regularly so that you can get the full effects of it. If you have trouble remembering when to take your pill each day, set an alarm to help you. Make sure that you do not stop taking this medication without the permission of your doctor. Your conditions may worsen if you stop taking Tegretol suddenly.  

What dosages are there? 

Tegretol comes in different dosages depending on a number of factors, including the way you have responded to other treatments in the past, your medical condition, and your weight. Children will be prescribed Tegretol based on their weight.  

Often, to keep your risk of side effects as low as possible, your doctor will prescribe you a fairly low dose of around 100mg to 200mg to begin with. This will allow your doctor to determine how well you respond to your treatment, so that your dose can be gradually increased over time. If your doctor decides to eventually take you off Tegretol, then they may reduce your dose gradually too, rather than just stopping the pill completely.  

What are the side effects of Tegretol? 

All medications, including Tegretol can sometimes cause adverse effects along with their intended effects. Often, the most common side effects caused by Tegretol happen when you first begin taking it, as your body is getting used to the presence of the new medication. The most common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, unsteadiness, and sometimes vomiting. If you find that these side effects become overwhelming or worsen over time, then you should contact your doctor to see if you should continue taking Tegretol.  

There are rare circumstances in which Tegretol can cause more serious side effects. You should seek medical assistance immediately if these side effects occur, including headaches that are particularly severe and signs of liver problems, like vomiting, nausea, yellowing skin, or dark urine. Speak to your doctor if you have any signs of kidney problems, such as changes in the amount that you urinate, or if you suffer from unusual eye movements, fainting spells or eye sores.  

Talk to your doctor if you have an irregular heartbeat after using Tegretol, or if your vision suddenly changes. In some rare cases, this medication can cause joint pain, swelling of the feet and ankles, swelling in the arms and legs and numbness in the extremities. You may also notice changes to the sodium levels in your blood which cause symptoms like severe drowsiness or confusion.  

A very limited number of people who use Tegretol treatments for conditions like epilepsy may experience mental side effects like increased risks of depression or suicidal thoughts. Make sure that you speak to your doctor immediately if you experience any severe changes in your mood, or you feel as though you might want to harm yourself.  

Serious allergic reactions to this drug are very rare, however you should seek medical attention immediately if you notice any rashes, itching, or swelling which may indicate an allergic reaction. 

When shouldn't you use Tegretol? 

Not everyone will be suitable for using Tegretol. It is important to go through a full medical assessment with your doctor before you begin using this pill, where he or she can discuss your medical history with you in depth. Before you begin using Tegretol, make sure that you tell your doctor if you have any allergies that may stop you from taking this pill.  

It's important to ensure that your doctor is aware if you have ever had any history of decreased bone marrow performance in your family, or blood disorders like anemia. You may not be able to take this medication if you have ever had heart disease, glaucoma, heart failure, kidney disease, liver disease, mineral imbalances like low sodium in the blood, or mood disorders.  

It is possible for Tegretol to make some people feel drowsy or dizzy. While taking this medication, avoid other substances that could worsen those side effects, such as alcohol, and make sure that you do not do anything that could be dangerous when you're feeling drowsy. It is also possible for Tegretol to make some people more sensitive to the sun. Because of this, it is important to avoid spending too much time in the sun without protection. Wear plenty of sunscreen.  

Older adults are more likely to respond negatively to this drug, particularly when it comes to side effects like an irregular heartbeat, confusion, unsteadiness, or an increased risk of falling. Sometimes, older adults will also be more likely to develop mineral imbalances, particularly if they are already taking other medications like diuretics.  

It is important to only use this medication when it is absolutely necessary when you are pregnant. It is possible for Tegretol to harm an unborn baby; however untreated seizures can also cause serious harm to you and your unborn baby too. Your doctor will assess the risks before prescribing Tegretol to you.  

Does Tegretol interact with any other medications? 

Sometimes, medications can interact negatively with the other substances that you are already using in your day-to-day life. Some products that can increase your chances of negative side effects when taking Tegretol include orlistat, voriconazole, and other azole antifungal medications.  

Taking some forms of MAO inhibitor medication with his substance can lead to dangerous drug interactions, so make sure that you avoid taking substances like linezolid, phenelzine, and moclobemide with this medication. Additionally, you should not take any MAO inhibitors for up to two weeks before you begin treatment with Tegretol.  

Some medications can sometimes affect the way that Tegretol and carbamazepine are removed from the body, which can also increase your risk of side effects. Examples may include macrolide antibiotics, and rifamycins as well as St John's Wort. It is also possible for Tegretol to speed the way that other drugs are removed from the body, which can have a dangerous impact on how they work. For instance, drugs used to prevent blood clots, as well as calcium channel blockers, HIV medications and others can all work differently when you're also taking Tegretol at the same time.  

In certain cases, Tegretol can reduce the way that your hormonal birth control works, leading to an increased chance of pregnancy. Ask your doctor if you should be using an additional form of contraception when taking Tegretol. These are just a few of the most common interactions but other drugs do also interact with Tegretol and your doctor will check this before prescribing. 

Where can you buy Tegretol? 

Tegretol is available through most reputable partner pharmacies once you have completed a full consultation with a registered doctor and you have been given a prescription for this medication. Do not trust any company that tries to sell you Tegretol without a prescription.  

Can you get Tegretol without a prescription?  

Tegretol will not be the right treatment for every person with epilepsy or a nerve disorder. You will need a doctor's consultation and a prescription to get this medication. This will ensure that you can take Tegretol safely.  

Sources 

Drugs.com, online, 2019, "Tegretol", [Accessed 14th of November 2019], Available at: https://www.drugs.com/tegretol.html

Medline Plus, 2019, online, "Carbamazepine" [Accessed 14th of November 2019], Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682237.html

Nice, online, 2019, "Tegretol drug", [Accessed 14th of November 2019], Available at: https://www.rxlist.com/tegretol-drug.htm 

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.