Natural Health Research

Naturopathic Medicine
Health Quizzes
Carbamazepine, Tegretol


Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizing drug, used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. It is also used to treat schizophrenia and trigeminal neuralgia.


anticonvulsant, iminostilbene type


agitation, bipolar disorder, diabetic neuropathy, hiccups, major depression, mania, neuropathic pain, partial seizures, postherpetic neuralgia, tonic-clonic seizures, trigeminal neuralgia,

Side Effects

abdominal pain, agitation, agranulocytosis, alopecia, aplastic anemia, ataxia, AV block, blurred vision, confusion, diarrhea, diplopia, dizziness, drowsiness, elevated hepatic enzymes, eosinophilia, fatigue, fever, hallucinations, heart failure, hepatitis, hypertension, hyponatremia, hypotension, impotence, interstitial nephritis, leukocytosis, leukopenia, nausea/vomiting, oral ulceration, pancytopenia, pharyngitis, photosensitivity, seizures, SIADH, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, syncope, thrombocytopenia, thrombophlebitis, urticaria, xerostomia,

Drug-Vitamin-Herb Interactions

Negative interactions:

Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo leaves contain small amounts of a natural nerve toxin.

Glutamine forms glutamate which acts as a neurotransmitter.

Grapefruit juice
Grapefruit juice slows the breakdown of several drugs, including carbamezapine.

Ipriflavone - inhibits breakdown of carbamezapine and phenytoin, may cause toxic build up

Sedative herbs (Kava, Valerian, Hops)
Sedative herbs may add to depressant side-effect of anticonvulsants.

Nicotinamide (Niacinamide) increases levels of carbamezapine and primidone, which may cause a toxic build up.

St JohnÕs Wort and Dong Quai
St JohnÕs Wort and Dong Quai may add to side effect of sun sensitivity.

Vitamin A
Valproic acid may interfere with the ability to handle vitamin A (beta carotene is fine).

White willow
High doses of aspirin increases phenytoin levels and toxicity. White willow contains salicylates (theoretical effect).

High levels of folate may increase breakdown of phenytoin (which may cause excess seizures)

Mixed interactions:

Anticonvulsants may deplete biotin by competeing for absorption. Take at different times of the day.

Anticonvulsants deplete folate.

Positive interactions:

Anticonvulsants impair calcium absorption. Take at different times of the day.

Anticonvulsants (especially valproic acid) deplete carnitine.

Vitamin D
Anticonvulsants may interfere with vitamin D activity and cause deficiency.

Vitamin K
Anticonvulsants speed up breakdown of vitamin K, leading to deficiency and bleeding.




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