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Carbamazepine is used to treat certain types of fits (epilepsy). It is also used to relieve a painful condition of the face called trigeminal neuralgia. Also used to control serious manic depression when another medicine (lithium) fails.

How it works

Carbamazepine belongs to a class of medications called as anticonvulsants. It works by stabilizing the electrical activity of your brain and controls fits, pain and serious manic depression. 

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Anxiety, Back pain, Chest pain, Memory impairment, Confusion, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Headache, Heartburn, Unsteadiness, Vision disorder, Yellow discoloration of skin, Yellow discoloration of eye, Constipation, Diarrhoea


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Expert advice

  • Do not perform activities that require alertness during the first week of taking this drug.
  • Immediately consult your doctor if you develop blistering or skin rashes.
  • Consult your doctor if you show signs of confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, easy bruising.
  • Carbamazepine can make birth control pills or implants less effective. Use a barrier form of birth control (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine.
  • Carbamazepine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using this medicine.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is carbamazepine /Tegretol / Zeptol safe?
Carbamazepine is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is carbamazepine a controlled drug/ an opiate?
No. Carbamazepine is not a controlled drug or an opiate.
Q. Is carbamazepine an enzyme inducer?
Yes. It is an enzyme inducer. Please check with your doctor if you are taking other medications, which may get altered when taken together.
Q. Is carbamazepine an antidepressant/ MAOI/ benzodiazepine?
Carbamazepine is an antidepressant. It is not an MAOI or benzodiazepine.
Q. Can I take paracetamol/ Tylenol/ tramadol/ ibuprofen/ Advil/ amoxicillin/ codeine/ Nyquil/naproxen/ oral contraceptives with carbamazepine?
All the above mentioned drugs may interact with carbamazepine. Please consult with your doctor before taking this medication. Always consult your physician for the change of dose regimen or an alternative drug of choice that may strictly be required.
Q. Does carbamazepine cause weight loss or weight gain/ hyponatremia/ help anxiety/depression/ gingival hyperplasia make you tired/ cause high blood pressure?
Carbamazepine causing the above mentioned side effects are commonly or rarely observed. It is not known to cause gingival hyperplasia and high blood pressure. Please consult your doctor if you experience such side effects.

Content on this page was last updated on 28 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)