Tegretol is a prescription-strength anticonvulsant drug that is prescribed to control partial and grand mal seizures experienced by individuals with epilepsy. Tegretol or generic Carbamazepine is not a cure for epilepsy, but it can help you regain some control of your life without the worry of an unexpected seizure. You can return to work, school, community events, social gatherings, and know Tegretol will help to control any seizures. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
When taken as directed, Tegretol and the generic alternative called Carbamazepine work in your brain to block sodium channels. When active, these channels allow neurons to send electrical signals that can become out of control and cause a seizure or facial nerve problems. By delaying or stopping the sodium channels from opening in certain parts of your brain, an increase in the activity is avoided and a seizure should not occur.
Tegretol is also beneficial in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. This is an intense, sharp pain that many say is like an electric shock that occurs in the facial area, usually only to one side. This recurring pain is a result of inflammation to the trigeminal nerve which is responsible for carrying sensations from your face to your brain. Tegretol can stabilize the nerve endings and reduce the severity and number of episodes you have of trigeminal nerve pain.
Tegretol may also be prescribed as a mood stabilizer in bipolar affective disorder to help prevent episodes of mania or depression when lithium has not been effective for controlling the symptoms of depression, agitation, and anxiety.
See your doctor to discuss other medical conditions you have that might interfere with the ability to safely take Tegretol. List all Rx medications you take or use, including any OTC drugs and herbal or vitamin supplements, as combining certain drugs together can change their efficacy or cause unintended side effects.
Tell your doctor whether you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant or are breast feeding as Tegretol may be harmful to your unborn or nursing baby. Wear a good sunscreen or protective clothing when outdoors and avoid tanning beds as Tegretol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and UV rays.
You should avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking Tegretol, as it could increase the amount of medication in your system and increase the risk for side effects.
Call your doctor if you experience a fever, a peeling or blistering rash, unusual weakness, or bleeding/bruising, and be conscious of any changes to your moods or symptoms.