Tegretol (TEG-reh-tall) is a brand name used in the United States, Canada, the UK, and some other countries for a type of medicine called carbamazepine (CAR-buh-MAZ-uh-peen). Carbamazepine is also available in different forms by other names, including Tegretol-XR and Carbatrol.
Forms of Tegretol
Tegretol is manufactured by Novartis. The name or appearance may be different in various countries but usually the dose (measured in milligrams, abbreviated "mg") will be the same. These descriptions apply to the U.S. versions:
|200-mg (capsule-shaped, pink)
One side says "Tegretol" and the other side says "27" on each half. These should be swallowed whole, not chewed.
|100-mg (round, white with red speckles)
One side says "Tegretol" and the other side says "52" on each half. These tablets are flavored and can be either swallowed whole or chewed.
Tegretol suspension (liquid)
100 mg per 5 mL (yellow-orange, citrus-vanilla flavored liquid).
How to take and store Tegretol
Follow the doctor's directions. Call if you have any questions. Ask the doctor what to do if you forget a dose. The way the medicine is taken depends, of course, on what form the doctor has prescribed.
Most doctors recommend taking Tegretol with food to avoid an upset stomach. Because food affects the way medicine is used by the body, try to be consistent day in and day out. A person who usually takes it with meals should do that all the time.
To use the liquid suspension, shake the bottle just before pouring it into a measuring spoon or filling a dropper. Use the same standard-size medicine spoon or dropper each time to get an accurate dose. Do not mix this form of Tegretol with any other liquid or take it at the same time as another liquid medicine.
Don't drink grapefruit juice with Tegretol, because it can interfere with the body's use of the medication.
As the doctor increases the amount of Tegretol that you take, you may be given a different kind of tablet than the ones you've been taking. For example, you may start out using 100-mg tablets and then switch to 200-mg tablets. If this happens, be careful to use the correct number. Don't automatically continue to take the same number of tablets as before.
Store all types of Tegretol at room temperature (below 86°F, 30°C). Protect the tablets from moisture. Don't keep them in the bathroom, where it's damp. Keep the bottle of the liquid in a cupboard where it won't get too much light.
What if I forget?
Take a forgotten dose right away. If it is almost time for the next dose, delay that dose for a few hours so you're not taking two doses close together. If you're not sure what to do, call the doctor's office for advice.
Do your best to follow the doctor's directions. The more often a medicine must be taken, the greater the chance of forgetting, and some people need to take Tegretol four times every day. This can be difficult. If you forget doses often, it may be a good idea to get a special pillbox or watch with an alarm to remind you.
Taking the right amount of seizure medicine on time every single day is the most important step in preventing seizures!
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