Commercial names: Tegretol®, Carbatrol®
This test measures the concentration of carbamazepine in the blood.
Carbamazepine is a drug used to treat epilepsy. It is also prescribed to stabilize the moods of patients with bipolar disease and to help on some types of nerve pain.
Epilepsy affect the brain’s ability to transmit electrical impulses. During a seizure, a patient may experience changes in consciousness, alterations in sight, smell, and taste, and may experience convulsions.
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition characterized by alternative depression and euphoria that may last from days to years.
Carbamazepine concentration is monitored because the drug must be maintained within a narrow therapeutic range. Too low levels of the drug let the symptoms of the illness appear. Too high levels can lead to intoxication effects.
Side effects include:
• Uncoordinated movement
• Double vision
Carbamazepine concentration is measured by means of analysis of a blood sample drawn from the vein in the arm.
Purpose of the test
To determine the concentration of carbamazepine in the blood. It is prescribed at regular intervals to monitor the drug’s level.
Carbamazepine test measures “total” carbamazepine, this is, both protein-bound and free portions of the drug.
Doctors may order carbamazepine tests to help evaluate their patients for side effects and adverse reactions during initial treatment and to monitor evolution.
Reference range values
Therapeutic levels 16.92 – 50.56 mcmol/L
Toxic level >63.45 mcmol/L
With high levels of Carbamazepine some people will experience seizures, mood swings, or nerve pain while other can experience this symptoms with slightly high levels of the drug. Dosage and adjustments must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.