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What is carbamazepine?

Carbamazepine (also called Tegretol®) is used to prevent seizures. It may also be used to treat migraine headaches and nerve pain. Carbamazepine is available in immediate-release form as a pale orange liquid suspension, as a 100-mg red-speckled pink tablet, and as a 200-mg pink tablet. It is also available in extended-release form as a 100-mg yellow tablet, as a 200-mg pink tablet, and as a 400-mg brown tablet. All forms of carbamazepine are taken by mouth.

How to take carbamazepine

  • The medicine in the liquid suspension will settle at the bottom of the bottle. Always shake the bottle of carbamazepine liquid well before you take each dose.
  • The immediate-release 100-mg red-speckled pink tablets may be chewed.
  • Do not crush, cut, or chew the extended-release tablets.

Possible side effects of carbamazepine


  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling dizzy, drowsy or unsteady

Later (more than a day after treatment starts)

  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Decreased coordination
  • Feeling dizzy, drowsy or unsteady
  • Feeling tired
  • Being agitated or easily irritated
  • Slurred speech
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Skin rash
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding
  • Low blood counts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Allergic reaction with symptoms of fever, rash, liver function changes, and muscle aches

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse or pharmacist at 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for carbamazepine

  • Do not stop taking this medicine until your doctor tells you to do so. If you stop taking it without being told to do so, your chances of having a seizure may increase.
  • This medicine may cause you to feel dizzy or drowsy. Do not operate heavy equipment or drive a motor vehicle until you see how this medicine will affect you.
  • The dose of this medicine will be increased slowly when you first begin taking it.
  • If you develop a rash after starting carbamazepine, it may indicate an allergy to the medicine. Call your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse right away.
  • It is very important that you take all the medicine exactly as your doctor has instructed. This will keep the blood levels constant during the day and night. If you miss a dose, follow these steps:
    • Take the missed dose right away if the next dose is not due for at least 4 hours.
    • If the next dose is due in less than 4 hours, do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose at the scheduled time. Never take a double dose unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so.
  • Carbamazepine may affect the way other medicines work. These medicines include warfarin, theophylline, cyclosporine, birth control pills, other seizure medicines, and doxycyline. Always tell your doctor if you are taking these medicines, or if you start taking any new medicine while taking carbamazepine.
  • This medicine can increase the risk of falls.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).