for better mental health

Lithium and other mood stabilisers

Explains how lithium and other mood stabilising drugs work, how they might help you, whether to take them if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and what alternative treatments are available.

carbamazepine

Carbamazepine (Carbagen, Tegretol) is an anticonvulsant used as a mood stabiliser.

You can find detailed information about this drug in the official Patient Information Leaflet (PIL), including what it's for, how to take it, possible side effects and safety information. This leaflet should come with your medication (usually inside the box). You can also access it online as a PDF via these links:

If a drug can come in different forms (such as tablets or liquid), there may be a separate PIL for each one. You should look at the PIL for the particular form and dose you've been prescribed. Many PILs are available online on the MHRA Products website.

If you have any questions about your medication you can:

  • talk to your doctor, or the healthcare professional who prescribes your medication
  • speak to someone at your pharmacy
  • contact NHS 111 if you live in England
  • contact NHS 111 or NHS Direct (0845 46 47) if you live in Wales.

What else might I want to know?

  • About psychiatric medication. For what you should know before taking any psychiatric drug, receiving the right medication for you, and your right to refuse medication, see our pages on psychiatric medication.
  • About mood stabilisers. For what they are, how they can help, what to know before taking them and alternatives you could try, see our pages on mood stabilisers.
  • About side effects. For what to do if you experience a side effect, see our page on coping with side effects.
  • About coming off medication. For information on making your decision, planning withdrawal and withdrawal symptoms, see our pages on coming off psychiatric drugs.
  • About accessing treatment. For information on this, see our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem.
  • About interactions with recreational drugs and alcohol. For information on this, see our page on recreational drugs and medication.

We're currently reviewing all of our medication pages. Please tell us what you would like to find on this page in future via 'Was this page useful?' buttons below.

If you have personal experience of taking this drug and would be interested in producing a blog or vlog about it to appear alongside our information, see our pages on telling your story.

This information was published in June 2020. We will revise it in 2023. 

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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