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Carbamazepine

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant medicine that’s commonly used to treat epilepsy, as well as some types of nerve pain (neuropathy). It directly affects the brain and helps to restore normal nerve activity, reducing the amount of severity of seizures, and often providing relief for patients that struggle with neuropathy.

As carbamazepine is a drug that has a direct effect on the brain, it’s important to make sure that it’s safe for you to use the medicine. You can do this by making an appointment with your doctor and taking a list of all of your medical conditions and medicines that you already take.

Carbamazepine is a prescription-only medicine, but if you complete our patient questionnaire, one of our doctors will review your request and generate a prescription if they’re happy that it’s a safe drug for you to use.

Last PIL Review Date: 22/01/2020

See Carbagen/Carbamazepine Patient Information Leaflet

This medicine is not available to request via our online service. If you are still having trouble with your symptoms please visit the NHS website for services in your area.


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Dr. Diana Gall GMC No. 7685129

Dr Diana Gall graduated from medical school in 2005 and has since undertaken further intensive training in many different areas of medicine. Dr Diana has reached consultant level and has practiced medicine all over Europe.

Shamir Patel GPHC No. 2049338

Shamir is a well-respected pharmacist with extensive experience running online pharmacies in the UK.

What is Carbamazepine?

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant (or anti-epileptic) drug that’s used to prevent and control seizures. In some cases, it’s even used for the treatment of nerve pain (neuropathy). Carbamazepine reduces the spread of seizure activity in the brain, and helps to restore the normal balance of nerve activity, relieving many people of seizures, making them less frequent or less severe.

Whilst it isn’t fully understood how anticonvulsants help with neuropathy, it’s thought that medicines such as carbamazepine helps to calm the overactive transmission of pain signals in the nerves (which would tie in with the drug restoring the balance of nerve activity in epilepsy patients).

Can I take carbamazepine?

Whilst there aren’t many conditions that would prevent a person from being able to take carbamazepine, there are many reasons why someone might not be able to use the treatment. Some health conditions that might have an impact on your suitability for the drug include:

  • Allergy to carbamazepine
  • Allergy to similar drugs
  • Heart condition
  • Bone marrow problems
  • Porphyria
  • Taking MAOI medicines
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Difficulty to retain urine
  • History of mental illness
  • Elderly
  • Epilepsy with mixed seizures
  • Blood disorders
  • Interrupted treatment with carbamazepine

If any of the above conditions or problems apply to you, make an appointment with your own doctor to discuss your suitability and whether it’s safe for you to take the medication. However, even if you don’t have any of the above issues, the medicine still might not be the most appropriate treatment for you to take for your epilepsy or neuropathy. This is because Carbamazepine interacts with many medicines. The list of which includes:

  • Acenocouramol
  • Acetazolamide
  • Albendazole
  • Alprazolam
  • Aminophylline
  • Amitriptyline
  • Antihistamines
  • Aprepitant
  • Aripiprazole
  • Buprenorphine
  • Bupropion
  • Ciclosporin
  • Cimetidine
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Cisplatin
  • Citalopram
  • Clanzapine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clobazam
  • Clomipramine
  • Clonazepam
  • Clozapine
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Danazol
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dextropropoxyphene
  • Digoxin
  • Diltiazem
  • Doxorubicin
  • Doxycycline
  • Erythromycin
  • Ethosuzimide
  • Felopidine
  • Fluconazole
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvocamine
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Furosemide
  • Gestrinone
  • Haloperidol
  • Hormonal contraceptives
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Imatinib
  • Imipramine
  • Indinavir
  • Isoniazid
  • Isradipine
  • Istotentoin
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lamotrigine
  • Lapatinib
  • Levetiracetam
  • Levothyroxine
  • Lithium
  • Loradine
  • Mefloquine
  • Methadone
  • Metoclopramide
  • Mianserin
  • Noritriptyline
  • Omeprazole
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Paliperidone
  • Pancuronium
  • Paracetamol
  • Parozteine
  • Phenobarbitone
  • Phenytoin
  • Prednisolone
  • Primidone
  • Progabide
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Quetiapine
  • Rifampicin
  • Risperidone
  • Ritonavir
  • Saquinavir
  • Sertraline
  • Sirolimus
  • Sodium valproate
  • St John’s Wort
  • Tacrolimus
  • Tadalafil
  • Temsirolimus
  • Theophylline
  • Thioridazine
  • Tiagabine
  • Tibclone
  • Topiramate
  • Toremifene
  • Tramadol
  • Trazodone
  • Valnoctamide
  • Variconazole
  • Verapamil
  • Vigabatrin
  • Vitamin B
  • Warfarin

We’ve alphabetised the list found in the patient information leaflet to make it easier to search for the medicines you already take. However, if you’re taking a branded version, it might not show in the list. Always check the packaging for the main ingredient and compare that to the list of interactions to see if it appears.

There may be some other interactions, as the patient information leaflet does state some groups of medicines to treat certain conditions. If you’re taking any medicines to treat the following problems but you can’t find your medication in the list, please speak to your pharmacist or doctor to make sure that you can take carbamazepine.

  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Blood clots
  • Cancer
  • Contraception
  • Depression
  • Endometriosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fluid retention
  • Fungal infections
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart conditions
  • Heartburn
  • HIV
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Immune system problems
  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • Malaria
  • Menopause
  • Mental illness
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sickness
  • Smoking
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Tuberculosis

It’s also important to avoid alcohol and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine as these can cause adverse effects, increase the risk of side effects, and affect how carbamazepine is absorbed by the body.

What are the side effects of Carbamazepine?

Carbamazepine is a strong drug, so it’s to be expected that it might cause some side effects. These are symptoms associated with taking a medication that aren’t related to the condition that it treats.

Some of the most common side effects reported by people using carbamazepine are:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty controlling movements
  • Nausesa
  • Vomiting
  • Skin reactions
  • Changes in liver enzyme levels
  • Swelling below the knees
  • Fluid retention
  • Weight gain
  • Low sodium levels
  • Visual disturbances
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Increased bruising (changes in blood)
  • Eosinophilia
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Tremor
  • Spasms throughout body
  • Increased levels of some enzymes

These are the most common complaints of people using the medicine, but there are some other side effects that can be fairly common that you need to be aware of. If you experience any of the following, please contact your doctor immediately, or go to your nearest A&E department taking the packet of medicine with you.

  • Low white cell count
  • Severe peeling of the skin which can affect a large area
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Multi-organ sensitivity disorder
  • Jaundice

More, and rarer side effects can be found in the patient information leaflet that’s included with the medication and listed at the top of this page. It’s important to know how your medicine might affect you. Your doctor won’t prescribe anything to you that might put you in danger.

Can you drive while taking Carbamazepine?

If you’re able to drive, you should wait and see how carbamazepine affects you before you drive. As it can cause drowsiness, confusion and dizziness, driving could be dangerous to yourself and to others.

If you aren’t affected by the medicine in this way, you should be safe to drive.

What other options are available for me?

Depending on what condition carbamazepine is treating, there are several other options you may be able to use. You should make an appointment with your own doctor to discuss which treatments are safe for you, as some alternative treatments (such as Gabapentin and Pregabalin for neuropathy) are only able to be prescribed by your own GP and not bought online through services like ours.

How long does carbamazepine take to work?

The medicine should start to work within 2 weeks, though it might take longer for it to reach its full potential and for you to feel the benefits of it.

The dosage you take will depend on your condition and the severity of your symptoms, but a higher dose doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll start to work quicker.

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The following delivery methods are currently available within the UK: All orders are sent in discreet, plain packaging.

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Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered the following Saturday

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