Written by: Petros Skapinakis, MD, MPH, PhD, lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece.
Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 29 Jul 2008.
How should I take carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol, Trimonil, Hermolepsin)? What happens if I miss a dose? What happens if I overdose?
Take carbamazepine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with a full glass of water.
Shake the suspension form of carbamazepine well before measuring a dose. To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the suspension with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.
Your doctor may want you to have blood tests during treatment with carbamazepine. It is important for your doctor to know how much carbamazepine is in your blood and how well your liver is working.
Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.
Do not stop taking carbamazepine even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking carbamazepine to prevent your seizures from recurring.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with carbamazepine. The interaction could lead to potentially adverse effects. You should discuss the use of grapefruit and grapefruit juice with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
Store carbamazepine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
If you miss a dose take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
Symptoms of a carbamazepine overdose include irregular or decreased breathing, muscle twitches, restlessness, seizures, tremors, slurred speech, staggering walk, dizziness, large pupils, back-and-forth motion of the eyes, nausea, vomiting, and decreased urine production. If you overdose, you should seek emergency medical attention.
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