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Carbamazepine (By mouth)

Treats seizures, nerve pain, or bipolar disorder.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Carbamazepine is used to treat certain types of seizures (epilepsy). It is also used to relieve pain due to trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux) and in the treatment of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness). Carbamazepine works in the brain and nervous system to control seizures, pain, and bipolar disorder. This medicine is an anticonvulsant. This medicine is available only with your… Read more
Brand names include
Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro
Other forms
By injection
Drug classes About this
Anticonvulsant, Neuropathic Pain Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Carbamazepine versus valproate monotherapy for epilepsy

No reliable evidence to distinguish between carbamazepine and valproate for partial onset seizures and generalized onset tonic‐clonic seizures.

Oxcarbazepine versus carbamazepine monotherapy for partial onset seizures

Carbamazepine is the most commonly used drug to treat partial epileptic seizures. Oxcarbazepine is a newer drug that was developed with the intention to be as effective as carbamazepine but to cause fewer side effects. In this systematic review, we summarise three studies in which oxcarbazepine and carbamazepine treatment were compared directly. We found that both drugs appear to be equally effective and to cause side effects equally often. Significantly fewer patients on carbamazepine developed nausea or vomiting during treatment.

Vigabatrin versus carbamazepine monotherapy for epilepsy

This review is an update of a review previously published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012, Issue 1) titled 'Vigabatrin versus carbamazepine monotherapy for epilepsy'. We reviewed the evidence on the efficacy and safety of vigabatrin versus carbamazepine (CBZ) when used as monotherapy for epilepsy. We found five studies.

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Summaries for consumers

Carbamazepine versus valproate monotherapy for epilepsy

No reliable evidence to distinguish between carbamazepine and valproate for partial onset seizures and generalized onset tonic‐clonic seizures.

Oxcarbazepine versus carbamazepine monotherapy for partial onset seizures

Carbamazepine is the most commonly used drug to treat partial epileptic seizures. Oxcarbazepine is a newer drug that was developed with the intention to be as effective as carbamazepine but to cause fewer side effects. In this systematic review, we summarise three studies in which oxcarbazepine and carbamazepine treatment were compared directly. We found that both drugs appear to be equally effective and to cause side effects equally often. Significantly fewer patients on carbamazepine developed nausea or vomiting during treatment.

Vigabatrin versus carbamazepine monotherapy for epilepsy

This review is an update of a review previously published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012, Issue 1) titled 'Vigabatrin versus carbamazepine monotherapy for epilepsy'. We reviewed the evidence on the efficacy and safety of vigabatrin versus carbamazepine (CBZ) when used as monotherapy for epilepsy. We found five studies.

See all (49)

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