Carbamazepine is prescribed to help control seizures related to epilepsy. This drug can also be used to treat mania associated with bipolar disorder and pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia. Although it is not approved for this use, some doctors also prescribe it to help with withdrawal from alcohol.
Patients who take Carbamazepine are at increased risk for developing aplastic anemia and other blood diseases. These patients should be tested regularly for blood diseases.
Some patients are also at risk of developing serious skin diseases. Patients who are of Chinese descent are at particular risk because they often carry a gene that is related to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, an often fatal dermatological disease. People of Asian heritage should get genetic testing before taking this drug to ensure they are not at risk for this disease.