Carbamazepine

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Carbamazepine.png
Carbamazepine chemical structure


Carbamazepine

5H-dibenz(b,f)azepine-5-carboxamide
CAS number
298-46-4 (85756-57-6 dihydrate)
ATC code
N03AF01
Chemical formula C15H12N2O
Molecular weight 236.27
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism  ?
Elimination half-life  ?
Excretion  ?
Pregnancy category  ?
Legal status  ?
Routes of administration  ?

Carbamazepine (Biston®; Calepsin®; Carbatrol®; Epitol®; Finlepsin®; Sirtal®; Stazepine®; Tegretol®; Telesmin®; Timonil®) is an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizing drug, used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder; but also used to treat schizophrenia and trigeminal neuralgia.

Mechanisms

The mechanism of action of carbamazepine and its derivatives is not well understood, but appears to be primarily through the inhibition of sodium channel activity.

Side Effects

Carbamazepine renders birth control pills ineffective. Common side effects include: drowsiness, loss of blood cells, loss of platelets, motor-coordination impairment, and/or upset stomach. Very rare side effects: loss of blood cells, loss of platelets. These side effects can be life-threatening if unnoticed so frequent simple blood tests are required for the first few months followed by three or four a year to detect them. Use of carbamazepine can result in blurry or doubled vision.

For people with bothersome side effects such as nausea, Tegretol XR® or Carbatrol® taken every 12 hours can greatly increase tolerability.

There are reports of a bizarre auditory side effect, whereby patients perceive musical notes about a semitone lower than they truly are. (Middle C would be heard as a B.)

Oxcarbazepine is a derivative of carbamazepine which has fewer and less serious side effects.

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