Carbamazepine is licensed to treat several conditions, including bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and trigeminal neuralgia. The prescription medication is available in a number of forms, including tablets, chewable tablets, extended-release tablets, extended-release capsules, and liquid. Depending on the product, carbamazepine is usually taken two to four times daily. Possible side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea.
What Is Carbamazepine?Carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®) is a prescription medication used to treat the following conditions:
- Bipolar disorder -- The medication is approved to treat manic or mixed episodes (which include characteristics of both mania and depression) associated with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression.
- Epilepsy -- Carbamazepine is approved to treat various types of seizures, though it is usually not effective at treating absence seizures (petit mal seizures).
- Trigeminal neuralgia -- The medication also is approved to treat pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia (also known as tic douloureux), a nerve condition that causes episodes of facial pain (typically cheek or jaw pain).
Not all forms are approved for each of these uses. Equetro is approved to treat bipolar disorder only, while Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol, and generic carbamazepine are approved to treat epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia, but not bipolar disorder.
Who Makes It?
Tegretol is made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, while Carbatrol and Equetro are made by Shire US, Inc. Equetro is marketed and distributed by Validus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Epitol is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Several different manufacturers make generic carbamazepine.