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Carbamazepine (Carbamazepine) - Side Effects and Adverse Reactions

 
 



ADVERSE REACTIONS

If adverse reactions are of such severity that the drug must be discontinued, the physician must be aware that abrupt discontinuation of any anticonvulsant drug in a responsive epileptic patient may lead to seizures or even status epilepticus with its life-threatening hazards.

The most severe adverse reactions have been observed in the hemopoietic system (see boxed WARNING), the skin, liver, and the cardiovascular system.

The most frequently observed adverse reactions, particularly during the initial phases of therapy, are dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea, and vomiting. To minimize the possibility of such reactions, therapy should be initiated at the low dosage recommended.

The following additional adverse reactions have been reported:

Hemopoietic System: Aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, bone marrow depression, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, leukocytosis, eosinophilia, acute intermittent porphyria.

Skin: Pruritic and erythematous rashes, urticaria, toxic epidermal necrolysis (Lyell’s syndrome) (see WARNINGS), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (see WARNINGS), photosensitivity reactions, alterations in skin pigmentation, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme and nodosum, purpura, aggravation of disseminated lupus erythematosus, alopecia, and diaphoresis. In certain cases, discontinuation of therapy may be necessary. Isolated cases of hirsutism have been reported, but a causal relationship is not clear.

Cardiovascular System: Congestive heart failure, edema, aggravation of hypertension, hypotension, syncope and collapse, aggravation of coronary artery disease, arrhythmias and AV block, thrombophlebitis, thromboembolism, and adenopathy or lymphadenopathy.

Some of these cardiovascular complications have resulted in fatalities. Myocardial infarction has been associated with other tricyclic compounds.

Liver: Abnormalities in liver function tests, cholestatic and hepatocellular jaundice, hepatitis, very rare cases of hepatic failure.

Pancreatic: Pancreatitis.

Respiratory System: Pulmonary hypersensitivity characterized by fever, dyspnea, pneumonitis, or pneumonia.

Genitourinary System: Urinary frequency, acute urinary retention, oliguria with elevated blood pressure, azotemia, renal failure, and impotence. Albuminuria, glycosuria, elevated BUN, and microscopic deposits in the urine have also been reported.

Testicular atrophy occurred in rats receiving carbamazepine orally from 4-52 weeks at dosage levels of 50-400 mg/kg/day. Additionally, rats receiving carbamazepine in the diet for 2 years at dosage levels of 25, 75, and 250 mg/kg/day had a dose-related incidence of testicular atrophy and aspermatogenesis. In dogs, it produced a brownish discoloration, presumably a metabolite, in the urinary bladder at dosage levels of 50 mg/kg and higher. Relevance of these findings to humans is unknown.

Nervous System: Dizziness, drowsiness, disturbances of coordination, confusion, headache, fatigue, blurred vision, visual hallucinations, transient diplopia, oculomotor disturbances, nystagmus, speech disturbances, abnormal involuntary movements, peripheral neuritis and paresthesias, depression with agitation, talkativeness, tinnitus, and hyperacusis.

There have been reports of associated paralysis and other symptoms of cerebral arterial insufficiency, but the exact relationship of these reactions to the drug has not been established. Isolated cases of neuroleptic malignant syndrome have been reported with concomitant use of psychotropic drugs.

Digestive System: Nausea, vomiting, gastric distress and abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, anorexia, and dryness of the mouth and pharynx, including glossitis and stomatitis.

Eyes: Scattered punctate cortical lens opacities, as well as conjunctivitis, have been reported. Although a direct causal relationship has not been established, many phenothiazines and related drugs have been shown to cause eye changes.

Musculoskeletal System: Aching joints and muscles, and leg cramps.

Metabolism: Fever and chills. Inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (ADH) secretion syndrome has been reported. Cases of frank water intoxication, with decreased serum sodium (hyponatremia) and confusion, have been reported in association with carbamazepine use (see PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests). Decreased levels of plasma calcium have been reported.

Other: Multi-organ hypersensitivity reactions occurring days to weeks or months after initiating treatment have been reported in rare cases. Signs or symptoms may include, but are not limited to fever, skin rashes, vasculitis, lymphadenopathy, disorders mimicking lymphoma, arthralgia, leukopenia, eosinophilia, hepato-splenomegaly and abnormal liver function tests. These signs and symptoms may occur in various combinations and not necessarily concurrently. Signs and symptoms may initially be mild. Various organs, including but not limited to, liver, skin, immune system, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, myocardium, and colon may be affected (see PRECAUTIONS, General and PRECAUTIONS, Information for Patients).

Isolated cases of a lupus erythematosus-like syndrome have been reported. There have been occasional reports of elevated levels of cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in patients taking anticonvulsants.

A case of aseptic meningitis, accompanied by myoclonus and peripheral eosinophilia, has been reported in a patient taking carbamazepine in combination with other medications. The patient was successfully dechallenged, and the meningitis reappeared upon rechallenge with carbamazepine.



REPORTS OF SUSPECTED CARBAMAZEPINE SIDE EFFECTS / ADVERSE REACTIONS

Below is a sample of reports where side effects / adverse reactions may be related to Carbamazepine. The information is not vetted and should not be considered as verified clinical evidence.

Possible Carbamazepine side effects / adverse reactions in 68 year old male

Reported by a health professional (non-physician/pharmacist) from Japan on 2011-10-03

Patient: 68 year old male

Reactions: Tubulointerstitial Nephritis, Renal Disorder, Hepatic Function Abnormal, Blood Urea Increased, Rash, Pyrexia, Drug Rash With Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms, Human Herpes Virus 6 Serology Positive, Blood Creatinine Increased

Adverse event resulted in: hospitalization

Suspect drug(s):
Carbamazepine



Possible Carbamazepine side effects / adverse reactions in 48 year old female

Reported by a health professional (non-physician/pharmacist) from Japan on 2011-10-03

Patient: 48 year old female

Reactions: Tubulointerstitial Nephritis, Drug Eruption, Protein Urine Present, Lymphadenopathy, Blood Urine Present, Drug Rash With Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms, Eosinophilia, Herpes Zoster, Human Herpes Virus 6 Serology Positive, Rash Erythematous, Lymphocyte Morphology Abnormal, Blood Creatinine Increased

Adverse event resulted in: hospitalization

Suspect drug(s):
Carbamazepine

Other drugs received by patient: Minocycline HCL; Valtrex



Possible Carbamazepine side effects / adverse reactions in 39 year old male

Reported by a consumer/non-health professional from Brazil on 2011-10-03

Patient: 39 year old male

Reactions: Anxiety, Syncope, Head Injury, Onychophagia, Fall, Aggression, Nervousness

Adverse event resulted in: hospitalization

Suspect drug(s):
Carbamazepine



See index of all Carbamazepine side effect reports >>

Drug label data at the top of this Page last updated: 2008-01-17

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