Tegretol is used for treating various types of seizures and trigeminal neuralgia. Although it is not exactly known how the drug works to treat seizures, it is thought that it blocks sodium channels in the brain, as well as certain nerve signals that cause pain and other unpleasant sensations. Some of the off-label Tegretol uses include the treatment of bipolar disorder, dementia, and alcohol withdrawal.
An Introduction to Tegretol UsesTegretol® (carbamazepine) is a prescription medication used to treat the following conditions:
- Epilepsy -- Tegretol is approved to treat various types of seizures.
- Trigeminal neuralgia -- Tegretol is also approved to treat pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve condition that causes episodes of facial pain (typically cheek or jaw pain).
Tegretol Uses for EpilepsyEpilepsy is a brain condition that occurs when there are sudden, brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. This change in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain is affected, a seizure may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses (taste, touch, smell, vision, or hearing).
Some people may only have a single seizure during their lives, and one seizure does not mean that a person has epilepsy (see Seizures and Epilepsy). In fact, the term epilepsy refers to a number of different kinds of unprovoked, recurring seizures that happen for a number of different reasons.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. When the cause is known, it may be one of the following:
- Other medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease
- Head trauma
- Brain tumor or brain infection, such as meningitis
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Genetics (see Genes and Epilepsy).
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories -- partial seizures (also known as focal seizures) and generalized seizures.
Epilepsy treatments may include medications (see Epilepsy Medication), surgery (see Epilepsy Surgery), dietary changes (see Epilepsy Diet), and biofeedback. Tegretol is approved to treat various types of seizures, including:
- Partial seizures, including simplex partial or complex partial seizures
- Generalized seizures, including generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures)
- Mixed seizures.
Tegretol is generally not considered effective at treating absence seizures (also known as petit mal seizures).