Carbamazepine (Tegretol) Serum Test
Carbamazepine is a drug used primarily to treat certain seizure disorders (also known as epilepsy) but is also prescribed to stabilize people's moods with bipolar disease, to relieve alcohol withdrawal, trigeminal neuralgia, and to help alleviate certain types of nerve pain often caused by diabetes.
Epilepsy affects the ability of the brain to transmit electric impulses and regulate the activity of the nerve. A person may experience changes in consciousness, changes in sight, smell, and taste during a seizure and may experience convulsions. The frequency of convulsions varies from one episode to occasional convulsions and recurring convulsions. Carbamazepine is prescribed for the prevention of recurrent seizures of specific types.
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition characterized by depression cycles and mania which can last for days, weeks, months or years. Those affected may feel sad, hopeless, worthless and have thoughts of suicide during a depressing episode. During a manic episode, the people affected can be euphoric, irritable, misjudged and take part in risky behaviors. Carbamazepine is prescribed to help people with bipolar disorder, especially mania, even out their moods.
Trigeminal neuralgia, a condition associated with facial nerve pain and muscle spasms, and paroxysmal choreoathetosis, a disorder of movement that causes involuntary movement of the limbs, trunk and facial muscles, is sometimes also treated with carbamazepine. It is also used for peripheral diabetic neuropathic pain that affects the functionality, mood and sleep patterns of diabetes mellitus patients.
The levels of carbamazepine are monitored because the drug must be kept within a limited therapeutic range. If the level is too low, the person may experience a recurrence of symptoms (i.e., seizures, mania or pain); the person may experience toxic side effects if the level is too high.
- Blurred or double vision
- Involuntary back and forth movement of the eyeball
- Red, itchy rash
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