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What should I know about carbamazepine extended-release before taking it?

Carbamazepine extended-release is harmful to a developing fetus and may cause spina bifida and other congenital abnormalities. This drug is excreted in breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or a nursing mother before taking this drug.

You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to certain antidepressants, or have a history of bone marrow suppression.

Do not take carbamazepine extended-release if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.

You may not be able to take this drug if you are taking certain drugs that interact with it or if you have liver or kidney disease, lupus, heart disease or heart block, porphyria, any mental illness, or glaucoma.

This drug can cause suicidal thoughts and may worsen existing depression; be on the lookout for mood changes.

People of Asian descent may be at a higher risk of a serious, rare skin reaction. You may need a blood test to determine whether you are at risk.

Wear a medical alert bracelet while taking this medication, in case of emergency. Care should be taken when driving or operating machinery.

Avoid drinking alcohol or any grapefruit products while on this drug. Carbamazepine extended-release can cause sensitivity to UV rays, such as sunlight or tanning beds.