What is Carbamazepine?
Carbamazepine is a drug which is used in the treatment of seizures as in epilepsy (fits), mania, bipolar disorder, and some types of nerve pain. It is also used to reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. The Carbamazepine Test is performed to measure the levels of carbamazepine in blood.
Why is Carbamazepine done?
The Carbamazepine Test is performed:
· To establish the therapeutic dosage for carbamazepine in blood
· To monitor carbamazepine levels at regular intervals to maintain therapeutic concentration after starting treatment
· To check for carbamazepine toxicity, if symptoms appear
What does Carbamazepine Measure?
The Carbamazepine Test measures the levels of carbamazepine in blood.
Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant or anti-epileptic drug and is used mainly for the treatment of epileptic seizures (including partial seizures, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and mixed seizures). The drug is also used to treat mood swings during bipolar disorder, especially mania, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and cases of peripheral neuropathy during diabetes. It may be prescribed along with other medications.
Carbamazepine, taken orally is absorbed in the intestinal tract and goes into the blood. In blood, most of it gets bound to plasma proteins like albumin and only a small portion remains free. Only the free carbamazepine remains metabolically active and the carbamazepine-protein complex remains inactive.
Carbamazepine levels are affected by a number of factors including liver function, the differential rate of absorption through the gastrointestinal tract, other drugs, levels of plasma proteins that form complex with it, and even the metabolized product of the drug itself. Since carbamazepine levels need to be maintained within a very narrow therapeutic range in blood, they are monitored continuously during treatment.
Interpreting Carbamazepine results
Therapeutic Range: 4 to 12 µg/ml (17 to 51 mmol/L)
The therapeutic range of carbamazepine may vary from person to person and due to a number of other factors. Hence, the therapeutic range is established for the patient at the beginning of treatment.
Lower carbamazepine concentration than the therapeutic range makes the drug ineffective in treatment.
Higher carbamazepine concentration than the therapeutic range induces symptoms associated with carbamazepine toxicity.
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Carbamazepine
Frequently Asked Questions about Carbamazepine