Tegretol: Effects and Side Effects

Tegretol pulls me down from mania quickly

I tried taking Tegretol (carbamazepine) as an antimanic and as a mood stabiliser. Because of my general resistance to drugs I do not take it daily. However, if I am feeling manic enough that I do not think I can manage using just behaviour adjustments, I take Tegretol, and it calms me down within 20 minutes.

The way this plays out is that I’d know I’m manic, but as long as only the minor signs are showing, and I’m not being irritable, or trying to buy new stuff, or having too many ideas flickering through my brain, I just using calming techniques. However, if I start getting annoyed at people or situations, or shouting at people, or if the rush of ideas is preventing me from actually getting things done, I’d take a 200 mg Tegretol dose and excuse myself and sit quietly somewhere for 20 minutes. It’s kinda like taking aspirin for a headache.

When taken in this manner, nothing happens for the first ten or so minutes. The I can feel the Tegretol as it starts to calm the frenetic impulses and anxiety, makes me less twitchy, and settles my thoughts. And twenty minutes or so later, I’m good.

My thoughts calm. I don’t feel to quarrel any more.

I no longer have the urge to shout or scream at people, I usually don’t fuss any more about whatever triggered the argument, my coordination improves, and I can focus on tasks and get them done, and I can focus on studying or other tasks requiring ongoing concentration.

I also occasionally take Tegretol about half hour before I start something stressful, such as giving a presentation or entering into a situation that is likely to be argumentative. And I take also occasionally take it before doing something that requires manual dexterity, such as servicing my bicycle.

My psych says Tegretol should not take effect as quickly as twenty minutes, but I have checked it over many occasions and the effect is very consistent. Your experiences may be somewhat different from mine though.

When I first start taking Tegretol it makes me sleepy. In fact it used to make me so sleepy that I had to restart drinking coffee just to get through a morning at work without falling asleep. But this effect fades in one to two weeks on the medication.

The most curious aspect of Tegretol is that when it first takes effect Continue reading Tegretol: Effects and Side Effects

Taking Medication for the First Time

31 October 1997

I’ve taken medication (Tegretol) for the first time and it is like…
A bucket of cold water thrown on an overheated footballer
Being able to think now!
Putting on shades to blank out the glare
Sanity after years of insanity
A space of calm in the ocean with the sea raging just outside

I can hear myself think calmly now. I can coordinate my physical actions now. I can focus on one thing and remain with it now. I can…I can finish my sentences now! Continue reading Taking Medication for the First Time