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What should I know about Carbamazepine XR before taking it?

Carbamazepine XR is harmful to the fetus and may cause spina bifida and other congenital abnormalities. This drug is also passed through breast milk. Therefore, be sure to talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or a nursing mother before taking this drug. You should not take this medicine if you if you are allergic to certain antidepressants or have a history of bone marrow suppression. Also do not take Carbamazepine XR if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past two weeks. This drug can cause suicidal thoughts. It can also cause sensitivity to UV rays, such as sunlight or tanning beds. This drug may cause severe blood problems, such as aplastic anemia, although this is rare. 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. Caution should be taken when driving or operating machinery. Avoid drinking alcohol with this drug.