Summary: Children with brain damage severe enough to cause cerebral palsy, mental retardation, hydrocephalus, microcephaly, etc., may have concomitant epileptic fits originating from the damaged areas of brain. Such children may be given carbamazepine for control of their fits. This section discusses a few guidelines for the parent/caregiver of the disabled child. This section is a simplified account of that given in USP DI, and is included here only as a guide and with no commercial interest. Last revised January 21, 2007



Brands available in India include Tegretol and Majetol, in strengths of 100, 200 and 400 mg tablets as well as oral suspensions for smaller children.

What is it ?

Carbamazepine is an anti-epileptic drug, used for various purposes by the doctor, which includes control some types of seizures and relieving pain due to some types of nerve diseases. In a CP/MR child, the only uses likely will be control of seizures.

Is it safe for your child ?

No drug on earth is absolutely safe. Not every doctor writes this drug. The few that do, usually know about its uses and risks. It is given only when the benefits of the drug outweigh the potential risks of NOT giving the drug.

How to make it easier for the doctor to decide about its use ?

Unwanted effects

Drug to drug interaction

Anticoagulants to thin the blood: their effects may be decreased. Regular monitoring of the blood thinning effects is needed.

Clarithromycin, a popular antibiotic for respiratory and other infections: increases the blood levels of carbamazepine to cause adverse effects described earlier.

Corticosteroids, may be used for severe inflammations, asthma, severe allergies, etc. Carbamazepine decreases the effects of corticosteroids.

Diltiazem, Verapamil, Erythromycin or Propoxyphene : These drugs increase the blood levels of carbamazepine to increase sedation and other sucj\h adverse effects.

Estrogens (female hormones) or Birth Control pills containing estrogen or Quinidine : Carbamazepine decreases the effects of these drugs and may lead to hormonal disturbances, failure of birth control, or loss of control of heart rhythm, respectively.

Isoniazid is a common anti-TB drug., whose liver side effects may be increased.

Itraconazole or Ketoconazole are systemic anti-fungal drugs, whose effects may be decreased.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, furazolidone, selegiline, etc.: Use of carbamazepine within 2 weeks after these drugs may cause sudden high temperature, high BP, fits, etc.

Other drug interactions involve

Other Anti-epileptic drugs Risperidone
Alcohol abuse Anemia or other blood problems
Behavioral problems Glaucoma
Heart or blood vessel disease Urinary obstructive disorders
Diabetes mellitus Kidney or Liver disease

How to use this drug

When to make emergency calls to doctor

When any of the following occur: 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.

How to know that there is an overdose

Brain related: 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); large pupils; nausea or vomiting (severe); overactive reflexes followed by under active reflexes; poor control in body movements (for example, when reaching or stepping)
Heart / B.P. related: fast or irregular heartbeat; high or low blood pressure (hypertension or hypotension); irregular, slow, or shallow breathing
Body function related: sudden decrease in amount of urine; trembling, twitching, or abnormal body movements
Miscellaneous: Other side effects that are often self limiting and do not usually require medical remedial action include:
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