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Home :: Epival :: Adverse Effects

Epival Antidepressant : Carbamazepine

Brand Name : Carbamazepine

Epival, in both delayed-release tablet and capsule form, is used to treat certain types of seizures and convulsions. It may be prescribed alone or with other epilepsy medications. The delayed-release tablets are also used to control the manic episodes--periods of abnormally high spirits and energy--that occur in bipolar disorder (manic depression).

An extended-release form of this drug, Epival ER, is prescribed to prevent migraine headaches. The delayed-release tablets are also used for this purpose.

Uses of Epival

  • This medication is used to treat seizure disorders, certain psychiatric conditions (manic phase of bipolar disorder), and to prevent migraine headaches. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
  • This drug may also be used for other mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia).

How to Take Epival

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take it with food if stomach upset occurs. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew the tablet, which can irritate the mouth or throat. Dosage is based on your weight, medical condition, and response to therapy. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day to keep the amount of medication in your blood constant. If this medication is used for seizures, do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor. Your condition may become worse if the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Divalproex sodium does not relieve acute migraine headaches. Take other medications as directed by your doctor for acute attacks. Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve.

What are the Side Effects of Epival Medication

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Decrease in the number of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia)
  • Temporary hair loss - regrowth may be curly
  • Increased alertness
  • Aggression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Shaky movements and unsteady walk (ataxia)
  • Tremor
  • Inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis)
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Liver disorders
  • Irregular or stopping of menstrual periods
  • Skin rashes
  • Decreased numbers of white blood cells in the blood (leucopenia)
  • Anaemia
  • Acne
  • Increased hair growth (hirsutism)
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)

Warnings and precautions before taking Epival Medication

  • You should not suddenly stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you otherwise, as suddenly stopping treatment is likely to make your symptoms return. If this medicine is stopped, it should normally be done gradually, under the supervision of your specialist.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness, especially if it is taken with other antiepileptic medicines, or with benzodiazepines such as lorazepam. This may affect your ability to drive or operate machinary.
  • This medicine can cause some people to put on weight. Talk to your doctor about this before you start treatment so that you can discuss strategies, such as diet and exercise, for minimising any weight gain.
  • There are some drugs that can possibly interact with this medication. If you are taking heparin, tiacarcillin, tricyclic antidepressants, methotrexate, estrogens, barbiturates, aspirin, acetaminophen, anticoagulants, other anticonvulsants, and dantrolene, you need to advise your doctor before taking this medication.

What drugs may interact with Epival Tablet

Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: certain antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, nortriptyline, phenelzine), certain benzodiazepines (e.g., clonazepam, diazepam), mefloquine, other medications for seizure (e.g., carbamazepine, ethosuximide, felbamate, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, topiramate), rifampin, warfarin, zidovudine. Low-dose aspirin, as prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually these dosages are 81-325 mg per day), should be continued. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are using aspirin for any reason. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine), medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine), tranquilizers. Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. This drug may affect certain lab tests (e.g., urine ketones). Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this medication.

What to do if you take Overdose of Epival ?

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • excessive drowsiness
  • coma
  • irregular/slowed/skipped heart beats (heart block).

How to Store Epival ?

Store the US product at room temperature below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Store the Canadian product at room temperature between 59 and 77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.


 

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