For genetically at-risk patients (see WARNINGS), high-resolution ‘HLA-B*1502 typing’ is recommended. The test is positive if either one or two HLA-B*1502 alleles are detected and negative if no HLA-B*1502 alleles are detected. Complete pretreatment blood counts, including platelets and possibly reticulocytes and serum iron, should be obtained as a baseline. If a patient in the course of treatment exhibits low or decreased white blood cell or platelet counts, the patient should be monitored closely. Discontinuation of the drug should be considered if any evidence of significant bone marrow depression develops.
Baseline and periodic evaluations of liver function, particularly in patients with a history of liver disease, must be performed during treatment with this drug since liver damage may occur (see PRECAUTIONS, General and ADVERSE REACTIONS). Carbamazepine should be discontinued, based on clinical judgment, if indicated by newly occurring or worsening clinical or laboratory evidence of liver dysfunction or hepatic damage, or in the case of active liver disease.
Baseline and periodic eye examinations, including slit-lamp, funduscopy, and tonometry, are recommended since many phenothiazines and related drugs have been shown to cause eye changes.
Baseline and periodic complete urinalysis and BUN determinations are recommended for patients treated with this agent because of observed renal dysfunction.
Monitoring of blood levels (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY) has increased the efficacy and safety of anticonvulsants. This monitoring may be particularly useful in cases of dramatic increase in seizure frequency and for verification of compliance. In addition, measurement of drug serum levels may aid in determining the cause of toxicity when more than one medication is being used. Thyroid function tests have been reported to show decreased values with carbamazepine administered alone. Interference with some pregnancy tests has been reported.
There has been a report of a patient who passed an orange rubbery precipitate in his stool the day after ingesting carbamazepine oral suspension immediately followed by Thorazine® 1 solution. Subsequent testing has shown that mixing carbamazepine oral suspension and chlorpromazine solution (both generic and brand name) as well as carbamazepine oral suspension and liquid Mellaril® 2 resulted in the occurrence of this precipitate. Because the extent to which this occurs with other liquid medications is not known, carbamazepine oral suspension should not be administered simultaneously with other liquid medicinal agents or diluents (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Clinically meaningful drug interactions have occurred with concomitant medications and include (but are not limited to) the following:
Agents That Increase Carbamazepine Levels
CYP 3A4 inhibitors inhibit carbamazepine oral suspension metabolism and can thus increase plasma carbamazepine levels. Drugs that have been shown, or would be expected, to increase plasma carbamazepine levels include aprepitant, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, danazol, diltiazem, macrolides, erythromycin, troleandomycin, clarithromycin, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, trazodone, olanzapine, loratadine, terfenadine, omeprazole, oxybutynin, dantrolene, isoniazid, niacinamide, nicotinamide, ibuprofen, propoxyphene, azoles (e.g., ketaconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, voriconazole), acetazolamide, verapamil, ticlopidine, grapefruit juice, and protease inhibitors.
Human microsomal epoxide hydrolase has been identified as the enzyme responsible for the formation of the 10,11-transdiol derivative from carbamazepine-10,11 epoxide. Coadministration of inhibitors of human microsomal epoxide hydrolase may result in increased carbamazepine-10,11 epoxide plasma concentrations.
Accordingly, the dosage of carbamazepine should be adjusted and/or the plasma levels monitored when used concomitantly with loxapine, quetiapine, or valproic acid.
Agents That Decrease Carbamazepine Levels
CYP3A4 inducers can increase the rate of carbamazepine metabolism. Drugs that have been shown, or that would be expected, to decrease plasma carbamazepine levels include cisplatin, doxorubicin HCl, felbamate, fosphenytoin, rifampin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, methsuximide, theophylline, aminophylline.
Effect of Carbamazepine on Plasma Levels of Concomitant Agents
Decreased Levels of Concomitant Medications
Carbamazepine is a potent inducer of hepatic 3A4 and is also known to be an inducer of CYP1A2, 2B6, 2C9/19 and may therefore reduce plasma concentrations of co-medications mainly metabolized by CYP 1A2, 2B6, 2C9/19 and 3A4, through induction of their metabolism. When used concomitantly with Carbamazepine, monitoring of concentrations or dosage adjustment of these agents may be necessary:
- When carbamazepine is added to aripiprazole, the aripiprazole dose should be doubled. Additional dose increases should be based on clinical evaluation. If carbamazepine is later withdrawn, the aripiprazole dose should be reduced.
- When carbamazepine is used with tacrolimus, monitoring of tacrolimus blood concentrations and appropriate dosage adjustments are recommended.
- The use of concomitant strong CYP3A4 inducers such as carbamazepine should be avoided with temsirolimus. If patients must be coadministered carbamazepine with temsirolimus, an adjustment of temsirolimus dosage should be considered.
- The use of carbamazepine with lapatinib should generally be avoided. If carbamazepine is started in a patient already taking lapatinib, the dose of lapatinib should be gradually titrated up. If carbamazepine is discontinued, the lapatinib dose should be reduced.
- Concomitant use of carbamazepine with nefazodone results in plasma concentrations of nefazodone and its active metabolite insufficient to achieve a therapeutic effect. Coadministration of carbamazepine with nefazodone is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
- Monitor concentrations of valproate when carbamazepine is introduced or withdrawn in patients using valproic acid.
In addition, carbamazepine causes, or would be expected to cause, decreased levels of the following drugs, for which monitoring of concentrations or dosage adjustment may be necessary: acetaminophen, albendazole, alprazolam, aprepitant, buprenorphone, bupropion, citalopram, clonazepam, clozapine, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisolone, dexamethasone), cyclosporine, dicumarol, dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (e.g., felodipine), doxycycline, eslicarbazepine, ethosuximide, everolimus, haloperidol, imatinib, itraconazole, lamotrigine, levothyroxine, methadone, methsuximide, mianserin, midazolam, olanzapine, oral and other hormonal contraceptives, oxcarbazepine, paliperidone, phensuximide, phenytoin, praziquantel, protease inhibitors, risperidone, sertraline, sirolimus, tadalafil, theophylline, tiagabine, topiramate, tramadol, trazodone, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., imipramine, amitriptyline, nortriptyline), valproate, warfarin, ziprasidone, zonisamide.
- Cyclophosphamide is an inactive prodrug and is converted to its active metabolite in part by CYP3A. The rate of metabolism and the leukopenic activity of cyclophosphamide are reportedly increased by chronic coadministration of CYP3A4 inducers. There is a potential for increased cyclophosphamide toxicity when coadministered with carbamazepine.
- Concomitant administration of carbamazepine and lithium may increase the risk of neurotoxic side effects.
- Concomitant use of carbamazepine and isoniazid has been reported to increase isoniazid-induced hepatotoxicity.
- Alterations of thyroid function have been reported in combination therapy with other anticonvulsant medications.
- Concomitant use of carbamazepine with hormonal contraceptive products (e.g., oral, and levonorgestrel subdermal implant contraceptives) may render the contraceptives less effective because the plasma concentrations of the hormones may be decreased. Breakthrough bleeding and unintended pregnancies have been reported. Alternative or back-up methods of contraception should be considered.
- Resistance to the neuromuscular blocking action of the nondepolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents pancuronium, vecuronium, rocuronium and cisatracurium has occurred in patients chronically administered carbamazepine. Whether or not carbamazepine has the same effect on other non-depolarizing agents is unknown. Patients should be monitored closely for more rapid recovery from neuromuscular blockade than expected, and infusion rate requirements may be higher.
- Concomitant use of carbamazepine with rivaroxaban, apixaban, dabigatran, and edoxaban (direct acting oral anticoagulants) is expected to result in decreased plasma concentrations of these anticoagulants that may be insufficient to achieve the intended therapeutic effect. In general, coadministration of carbamazepine with rivaroxaban, apixaban, dabigatran, and edoxaban should be avoided.
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