Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet answers some common questions about Tegretol.

It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

The information in this leaflet was last updated on the date listed on the final page. More recent information on the medicine may be available.

You should ensure that you speak to your pharmacist or doctor to obtain the most up to date information on the medicine. You can also download the most up to date leaflet from www.novartis.com.au.

Those updates may contain important information about the medicine and its use of which you should be aware.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you or your child taking this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have.

If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.

What Tegretol is used for

  • Tegretol has several uses:
  • to control epilepsy, a condition in which there are repeated seizures (fits). There are many different types of seizures, ranging from mild to severe.
  • to control sudden, repeated attacks of facial pain, known as trigeminal neuralgia
  • to control mania, a mental condition with episodes of overactivity, elation or irritability
  • to control bipolar mood disorder where periods of mania alternate with periods of depression.

Tegretol belongs to a group of medicines called anticonvulsants.

These medicines are thought to work by regulating the way messages in the brain are passed on by nerves so that seizures do not happen. Tegretol also regulates other nerve functions in the body.

Tegretol may be used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat your condition.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another purpose.

Tegretol is only available with a doctor's prescription. There is no evidence that this medicine is addictive.

Before you take Tegretol

When you must not take it

Do not take Tegretol if you have an allergy to:

  • carbamazepine (the active ingredient of Tegretol) or any of the other ingredients of Tegretol listed at the end of this leaflet
  • any other medicine containing carbamazepine
  • tricyclic antidepressants, which are medicines use to treat depression

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to oxcarbazepine, the active ingredient in Trileptal, or to phenytoin. These two medicines are also used to treat epilepsy. Some people who are allergic to oxcarbazepine or phenytoin are also allergic to Tegretol.

Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin.

Do not take Tegretol if you are taking a medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or have been taking it within the past 14 days. Taking this medicine with a MAOI, or within 14 days of taking a MAOI, may cause a serious reaction with a sudden increase in body temperature, extremely high blood pressure and severe convulsions.

Do not take Tegretol if you have, or have had, any of the following conditions:

  • severe liver or heart disease
  • a disease of the blood
  • an irregular heartbeat caused by a condition called A-V block
  • systemic lupus erythematosus, also called SLE
  • hepatic porphyria, a disturbance in the production of porphyrin, a pigment important for liver function and blood formation