Tegretol-XR has been approved as a treatment for epileptic seizures. It is a new formulation that will allow many subjects to switch from three or four daily doses to a more convenient twice-daily regimen. Available only by prescription in 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg tablets, Tegretol-XR is indicated as a first-line monotherapy for the treatment of partial, secondarily generalized, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures.
The most frequently observed adverse reactions with Tegretol-XR therapy, particularly during the initial phases of therapy, are dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea and vomiting. To minimize the possibility of such reactions, therapy should be initiated at the lowest possible dose. Although reports of transient or persistent decreased platelet or white blood cells are not uncommon in association with the use of Tegretol, the vast majority of cases of leukopenia have not progressed to the more serious conditions of aplastic anemia or agranulocytosis. When initiating therapy with Tegretol-XR, physicians should obtain complete pretreatment hematologic testing as a baseline. As with all anticonvulsant therapy, periodic hematologic evaluations are recommended at the physician's discretion. Physicians should monitor subject's plasma levels during conversion to Tegretol-XR or whenever any anticonvulsant therapy formulation is changed.