Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Carbamazepine

Carbamazepine

Last updated on 19/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions   |   Tips   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Carbamazepine

CHINESE NAME: 卡馬西泮

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Carzepin, Taver, Tegretol

DRUG CLASS: Anticonvulsant

USED FOR: Epilepsy, chronic neuropathic pain, bipolar disorder

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Pregabalin, Gabapentin, Lamotrigine, Phenobarbital, Topiramate, Valproic Acid

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 200mg (tablets)
– 2% (syrups)

What is Carbamazepine for?

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant that works by stabilizing electrical activities in nerves and the brain and is a common treatment for epilepsy. Before using Carbamazepine, people of Han Chinese and South Asian Indian ancestry should consider genetic screening for HLA-B*1502 allele to assess if they are at higher risk of a severe allergic skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome). 

Carbamazepine is also used to treat the following conditions:
– Chronic neuropathic pain (e.g. trigeminal neuralgia)
– Bipolar disorder

How to use it?

Carbamazepine is available as tablets and syrups. 

The usual adult starting dose of Carbamazepine is 200-400 mg per day. Regular release Carbamazepine can be given two, three, or four times per day. Your doctor will gradually increase your dose based on your response. If you experience side effects 2 to 4 hours after dosing with the regular release products, your doctor may switch you to extended release tablets (Tegretol CR) which are taken twice daily. 

What are the side effects of Carbamazepine?

Common side effects of Carbamazepine include rash, drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting and double vision. Rare side effects include decreased platelet and white blood cell count and severe allergic reactions.

Who should not take Carbamazepine?

– Anyone who has an allergy to Carbamazepine
– Anyone who has bone marrow depression
– Anyone who is using a monoamine oxidase inhibitor

Pharmacist Tips:

Do not withdraw the drug yourself since it may cause withdrawal symptoms. Discuss with you doctor or pharmacist for a proper withdrawal plan.

Common dosing schedule:
Take Carbamazepine with food.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Carbamazepine may interact with:
Apixaban 
– Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, e.g. Rasagiline, Selegiline
Rivaroxaban 
Tramadol 

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Carbamazepine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Carbamazepine is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Carbamazepine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.