CARBAMAZEPINE EXTENDED RELEASE TABLETS-ORAL, Tegretol XR (cont.)
USES: Carbamazepine is used to prevent and control seizures (also called an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug). It is also used to relieve one type of nerve pain (trigeminal neuralgia). This medication works by reducing excessive nerve signals in the brain and restoring the normal balance of nerve activity.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually two times a day with meals, or as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush, chew, or break them, which can destroy the drug's long action and may increase side effects. Inspect the tablets for chips and cracks. Do not take any damaged tablets. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose. Follow these directions carefully. For the treatment of trigeminal nerve pain, do not take more than 1,200 milligrams per day. Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while being treated with this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit juice can increase the amount of certain medications in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Take this medication regularly at evenly spaced intervals in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day to keep the amount of medicine in your body at a constant level. Do not take more of this medicine than prescribed or stop taking it without consulting your doctor. Some conditions (e.g., seizures) may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also the Warning section. Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, or unsteadiness may occur as your body adjusts to this medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. An empty tablet shell may appear in your stool, but it is harmless. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: chest pain, swelling of the ankles/feet, trouble breathing, fatigue, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, persistent or severe headache, fainting, trouble urinating, change in the amount of urine, decreased sexual ability, unusual eye movements (nystagmus), vision changes, hearing problems, mental/mood changes, pain/redness/swelling of the arms or legs, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, sun sensitivity, joint pain, hair loss. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: persistent nausea or vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine, swollen glands, persistent mouth sores. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
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