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Carbamazepine (kar ba MAZ e peen)

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Carbatrol; Epitol; Equetro; TEGretol; TEGretol-XR

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Carbamazepine; Dom-Carbamazepine; Mapezine; Mylan-Carbamazepine CR; Nu-Carbamazepine; PMS-Carbamazepine; Sandoz-Carbamazepine; Taro-Carbamazepine Chewable; Tegretol; Teva-Carbamazepine

Warning

  • Unsafe blood cell count problems may happen. Report any fever, sore throat, mouth sores, infections, easy bruising, or purple “splotches” on your child’s skin to the doctor right away.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) have happened with this drug. People of Asian descent are most likely to get these. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat seizures.
  • It is used to treat pain caused by a problem with a nerve in the face.
  • It is used to treat bipolar problems.
  • It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

All products:

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child has had any of these health problems: Bone marrow disease or porphyria.
  • If your child is taking any of these drugs: Delavirdine, nefazodone, or another drug that has carbamazepine in it.
  • If your child has taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for certain other health problems in the last 14 days. Taking this drug within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure. Talk with your child’s doctor.

Liquid (suspension):

  • If your child is not able to break down fructose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of their drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Get your child an eye exam as you have been told by the doctor.
  • This drug may affect certain lab tests. Be sure the doctor and lab workers know your child takes this drug.
  • Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child other drugs and natural products that may slow your child’s actions.
  • If your child drinks grapefruit juice or eats grapefruit often, talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles.
  • Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Your child may bleed more easily. Make sure your child is careful and avoids injury. Be sure your child has a soft toothbrush.
  • Do not switch brands or types of this drug (like tablets, liquid) unless you talk with the doctor. They may not work the same.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with this drug. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is or may be sexually active:

  • This drug may cause the results of some pregnancy tests to be wrong. Talk with the doctor.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Be sure your child uses some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking this drug.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy.
  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, change in thinking clearly and with logic, weakness, seizures, or change in balance.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • If your child’s seizures are worse or not the same after starting this drug.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Change in speech.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Not able to control eye movements.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Fast or slow heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Swollen gland.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Very bad muscle or joint pain.
  • Trouble controlling body movements.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Patients who take this drug may be at a greater risk of having thoughts or actions of suicide. The risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. Watch people who take this drug closely. Call the doctor right away if signs like low mood (depression), nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or changes in mood or actions are new or worse. Call the doctor right away if any thoughts or actions of suicide occur.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or is sweating a lot.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • Do not stop giving this drug to your child all of a sudden without calling the doctor. Your child may have a greater risk of seizures. If your child needs to stop this drug, you will want to slowly stop it as told by the doctor.
  • Give as you have been told, even if your child feels well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.

Long-acting capsules:

  • Give this drug with or without food.
  • Have your child swallow whole. Do not let your child chew, break, or crush.
  • You may sprinkle contents of capsule on applesauce. Have your child swallow right away without chewing and follow with water or juice.

All other products:

  • Give this drug with food.

Chewable tablet:

  • Have your child chew all the way up before swallowing.

Long-acting tablets:

  • Have your child swallow whole. Do not let your child chew, break, or crush.
  • Do not give your child chipped or broken tablets.
  • You may see the tablet shell in your child’s stool.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Shake well before use.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, get an oral syringe, a dropper, a spoon, or a cup (only for older children) from your pharmacist.
  • Do not mix with any other liquid drugs.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.