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Carbamazepine -- Side-effects

Abstract: List of a number of possible side effects of drugs containing carbamazepine.

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Carbamazepine -- Side-effects

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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.

What are the possible side effects of carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol, Trimonil, Hermolepsin)?


  • If you experience any of the following serious side effects, contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical attention:
    • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
    • liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, severe fatigue);
    • chest pain, high blood pressure (headache, flushing), or congestive heart failure (shortness of breath, swelling of ankles);
    • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, arms, or legs;
    • body or muscle jerks;
    • confusion, slurred speech, or fainting;
    • continuing headache, hallucinations, or depression;
    • severe nausea or vomiting;
    • back-and-forth movements of the eyes;
    • blurred or double vision; or
    • decreased urination.
  • Rarely, carbamazepine may cause serious blood problems. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms, which may be early signs of potential blood problems:
    • fever, sore throat, rash, sores in the mouth, easy bruising, or red or purple bruising.
    • Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take carbamazepine and talk to your doctor if you experience
    • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or decreased appetite;
    • dry mouth;
    • impotence; or
    • joint or muscle aches or pains.
  • Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
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