What is carbamazepine?

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant used primarily in the treatment of seizure disorders such as epilepsy. Anticonvulsant medications influence the actions of neurotransmitters leading to a decrease in brain cell (neuron) excitability. In bipolar disorder, carbamazepine is used mainly for the treatment of mania.

What is the evidence for carbamazepine as a treatment for bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence suggests medium-sized effects of greater improvement in acute mania symptoms with carbamazepine than with placebo or topiramate, although there was a large effect of greater improvement n acute mania symptoms with tamoxefin than with carbamazepine. There was more discontinuation of treatment with carbamazepine than with olanzapine.

Low quality evidence is unable to determine the benefits of carbamazepine over placebo for acute depression.

July 2020

Last updated at: 4:22 am, 7th July 2020
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