Carbamazepine

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Carbamazepine (CBZ) is an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizing drug used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder, as well as trigeminal neuralgia. It is also used off-label for a variety of indications, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, phantom limb syndrome, paroxysmal extreme pain disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

It has been seen as safe for pregnant women to use carbamazepine as a mood stabilizer. [1]

Contents

History

Carbamazepine was discovered by chemist Walter Schindler at J.R. Geigy AG (now part of Novartis) in Basel, Switzerland, in 1953.[2] Schindler then synthesized the drug in 1960, before its anti-epileptic properties had been discovered.

Carbamazepine was first marketed as a drug to treat trigeminal neuralgia (formerly known as tic douloureux) in 1962. It has been used as an anticonvulsant in the UK since 1965, and has been approved in the U.S. since 1974.

In 1971, Drs. Takezaki and Hanaoka first used carbamazepine to control mania in patients refractory to antipsychotics (Lithium was not available in Japan at that time). Dr. Okuma, working independently, did the same thing with success. As they were also epileptologists, they had some familiarity with the anti-aggression effects of this drug. Carbamazepine would be studied for bipolar disorder throughout the 1970s.[3]

Indications

In the United States, the FDA-approved indications for carbamazepine use are epilepsy (including partial seizures and tonic-clonic seizures), trigeminal neuralgia, and manic and mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder.[4] Although data is still lacking, carbamazepine appears to be as effective and safe as lithium for the treatment of bipolar disorder, both in the acute and maintenance phase.[5]

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