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Tegretol / Carbamazepine Side Effects

Bipolar Medications Library

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Updated June 19, 2006

Catalogue of side effects for the medication Carbamazepine, which is often prescribed as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder, as well as for epilepsy. Common brand names include Tegretol and Epitol - there are many others in different countries.

Common Side Effects:

Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Clumsiness or unsteadiness; dizziness (mild); drowsiness (mild); lightheadedness; nausea or vomiting (mild)

Less Common Side Effects:

Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Aching joints or muscles; constipation; diarrhea; dryness of mouth; headache; increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight (skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of skin, or severe sunburn); increased sweating; irritation or soreness of tongue or mouth; loss of appetite; loss of hair; sexual problems in males; stomach pain or discomfort

Notify Doctor Immediately:

Rare: Black, tarry stools; blood in urine or stools; bone or joint pain; cough or hoarseness; darkening of urine; lower back or side pain; nosebleeds or other unusual bleeding or bruising; painful or difficult urination; pain, tenderness, swelling, or bluish color in leg or foot; pale stools; pinpoint red spots on skin; shortness of breath or cough; sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in the mouth; sore throat, chills, and fever; swollen or painful glands; unusual tiredness or weakness; wheezing, tightness in chest, or troubled breathing; yellow eyes or skin

Notify Doctor As Soon As Possible:

More Common: Blurred vision or double vision; continuous back-and-forth eye movements

Less Common: Behavioral changes (especially in children); confusion, agitation, or hostility (especially in the elderly); diarrhea (severe); headache (continuing); increase in seizures; nausea and vomiting (severe); skin rash, hives, or itching; unusual drowsiness

Rare: Chest pain; difficulty in speaking or slurred speech; fainting; frequent urination; irregular, pounding, or unusually slow heartbeat; mental depression with restlessness and nervousness or other mood or mental changes; muscle or stomach cramps; numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands and feet; rapid weight gain; rigidity; ringing, buzzing, or other unexplained sounds in the ears; sudden decrease in amount of urine; swelling of face, hands, feet, or lower legs; trembling; uncontrolled body movements; visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)

Overdose Effects - Notify Doctor:

Body spasm in which head and heels are bent backward and body is bowed forward; clumsiness or unsteadiness; convulsions (seizures) - especially in small children; dizziness (severe) or fainting; drowsiness (severe); fast or irregular heartbeat; high or low blood pressure (hypertension or hypotension); irregular, slow, or shallow breathing; large pupils; nausea or vomiting (severe); overactive reflexes followed by underactive reflexes; poor control in body movements (for example, when reaching or stepping); sudden decrease in amount of urine; trembling, twitching, or abnormal body movements

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Further Reading

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Bipolar Disorder
  4. Medications
  5. Mood Stabilizers
  6. Anticonvulsants
  7. Tegretol
  8. Side Effects - Carbamazepine / Tegretol and Epitol / Bipolar Disorder Medications

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