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memory loss from tegretol?
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memory loss from tegretol?

I have been taking Tegretol XR (carbemazipene) for several years now to treat partial frontal-lobe seizures. I have noticed an increase in memory loss. It has been remarked on at work where things have been brought up by my supervisors and co-workers that I have absolutely no memory of. Does Tegretol have an effect on memory? If so, is it reversible?
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368886_tn?1278962315
Hello.

There have been some reports of memory loss and disturbance of other cognitive functions including alertness following Carbamazepine (Tegretol) use. The effect of the seizure focus in the frontal lobe can't be denied. The two combined together may be responsible for the memory loss.

Regards
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452529_tn?1361851455
I have been on Tegretol for approx. 30 years. I can't even remember what I wore yesterday. My neurologist looked at me like I was crazy when I mentioned this symptom/side effect. I am also taking dilantin and depakote. Depression is a side effect FOR ME and most depression medications causes seizures. There is only a few types I can take.... I believe I am in a catch 22,  

Best of luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I was diagnosed in January as having temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy, probably as an artifact of a stroke. I am on Tegretol XR and have noticed severe memory impairment. I was on two Anti-depressants, Cymbalta and Lexipro for major depression and fibromyalgia and had to stop both as they lower the seizure threshhold...thus both of those are worse. Have found that riding in a car (surrond movement) and watching tv are still triggers. Boy, my world continues to shrink.
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Avatar_m_tn
@All- wasn't sure how else to get this on the forum. Thnx for the comments. Not entirely reassuring (wanted to hear  "no there are no issues, you're just getting old") . Guess I'll take this up with my neurologist when next I see him. Can't change meds (allergic to Dilantin, makes me look like a Trill) but glad to know I can blame depression on meds instead of self.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi........
i m 18 yrs n i m on tegritol since d past 3 yrs n i had my 1st seizure when i was in my 11th std........after den i din't hv it for 2yrs n den i suddenly reduced d dose frm 200mg to 100mg.......after which i had another seizure n had 2 start up d medication again n nw take sum vitamin supplement 2 named kivit-z.......
i wanted 2 4 hw many more years will i hv 2 continue dis medicine n is dere sum other treatment 4 dis----
like in homeopathy or ayurvedic?
is it useful n how many years does it take?
plz suggest...........thanks!
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Avatar_m_tn
Sapna- Tegratol does not cure epilepsy. Nothing cures it, except possibly surgery and that is problematic at best. Epilepsy is not a disease like the flu which is caused by an orgnism and can be removed/destroyed. It is a condition like diabetes which can be controlled but that will be done with medication.
I've never heard of homeopthic/ayurvedic treatments for epilepsy, but I won't say they don't exist. However I suggest you be very skeptical. The risk of changing from something that works to something that may not is very high. This is your BRAIN we are taking about. If you damage it, you will have nothing left.
A person can live a full and meaningfull life with epilepsy, if they are carefull to manage it. If they are not carefull, they can destroy that life.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I took my first grand mal at the age of 12 - just started my periods. Went on dilantin for 2 years and stopped. Didn't have another until I was 3 months pregnant with my third son. Was put on Tegretol. I firmly believe it is due to hormones. I have been on Tegretol and Topomax (topamax) for many years now.  I too was looking for herbal supplements - with my medication still - and so took what was prescribed to me. I ended up on the floor with a huge bang on my head and two black eyes the other night. What happened? I don't know. I definitely wasn't looking to replace my medication - just to help me with perimenopause etc. But instead it has done damage to me head!
Regards
MB
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Avatar_f_tn
Re your post of April 2, 2008, wherein you said that " . . . but glad to know I can blame depression on meds instead of self."  I'm sad, because I doubt if you'll see this now, two months later, but just on the off-chance you may log in to see if there have been any more comments, I felt I had to say something.  In the above-referenced post and additionally an answer to another person on April 14, I can see that you are well-educated and very perceptive.  But I really would like to address your comment that I referenced above.  

Some people have to make daily choices, such as to take their meds for epilepsy or diabetes, or whatever.  Others of us have had to deal with problems such as abuse, big noses, rosacea, rape, or other problems.  All of us are born with our own "finite" levels of good brain chemicals, and for various reasons, have to use up our allotted given seratonin or whatever, because of problems that we have to face.  And I believe we're all born with different levels of optimism or pessimism or even athletisim or a gift for music or art, but when life throws us curves, we have to contend with the coping skills that come about naturally as a consequence of our congenital makeup.  

As far as depression is concerned, no matter if you are dealing with something emotionally challenging that is readily-apparent to others, such as the premature death of someone you love or a chronic illness, or even in the event that you are dealing with something that bothers only yourself, such as small breasts and over-large hips and really, really ugly feet, you CANNOT "blame yourself" for your depression.  

If something depresses you, whether it's understandable to many others or only a few people, or maybe only your dog or cat and yourself, your depression is not a matter of a judgment call--by you or anyone else.  We are all of us unique, we have been shaped by our past, we have maybe already reached the limits of our ability to "rise above" depression.  But those 'limits' are governed by the same limitations that dictate that some of us can run a four-minute mile, some of us can throw a football 80 yards on the run across our bodies, some of us can answer trivia questions without hesitation, some of us can cook superb meals, some of us can sing like a bird and other can't sing Happy Birthday in a way that is readily-recognizable, but some of us can intstantly calm a crying baby who has been otherwise inconsolable, etc.  Depression is not our fault.  It is not something that proves a weakness.  We are at the mercy of our genetic makeup.

Depression can take the form of suicidal attempt or ideation, homicidal thoughts, or, in my own case, I become what I refer to as a dial tone.  My husband has to take insulin twice a day to sustain life.  I have to take an antidepressant once a day to sustain life.  I have trialed off antidepressants at various times in the last few years, mostly due to input from others who think I should pray more or think more positively, but I really don't want to be a dial tone; I want to live my life fully, and I now understand that antidepressants are probably going to be part of my life for the foreseeable future.  I apparently used up all my good brain chemicals in the past--I don't have a reserve any more--and so I may have to take antidepressants for the rest of my life.  I'm lucky, because I've found one that works for me (many people have to trial several different meds to find one that works for them).  But I'm also lucky, because I've had good care, and I know that 'slipping into depression' is not a choice--it's a chemical reaction.  So, if you're taking a medication for epilepsy and you are depressed while taking it, or even when you're not taking it, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for which to "blame" yourself.  And if you choose not to take antidepressants, there is still nothing to blame yourelf for if you're depressed; you're trying to make do with the cards that you've been dealt.  You can't do anything to change your height or skin tone or IQ; why would you think you could change your emotional makeup?

Please don't add guilt to your other problems.  No matter how positive your thoughts, you can't change the fact that you have hypertension, or irritable bowel disease, or athlete's foot, or anything else.  Maybe for a short period of time, you can ignore the symptoms with "positive thoughts" and there are no doubt people who will come out of the woodwork who will give you (and me) testimonials regarding how they cured their type 1 diabetes or cancer or epilepsy or depression with those positive thoughts, but you and I are not those people, we do not have their past histories, and their reality doesn't really have anything to do with ours, and neither does their chemical makeup.  We're all different.  For instance, some people with type 1 diabetes, like my husband, are lucky enough to take their insulin twice a day, without adhering to a strict diabetic diet, and they're doing just fine.  Other people are totally committed to that strict diet, exercise regularly, think positive thoughts, and yet their diabetes is 'brittle' or relatively uncontrollable.  Some people have had one horrible thing to contend with in life, some of us had have multiple horrendous happenings to deal with; some people are thought of as superhumanly strong to have overcome hideous adversity, and some of us are thought of as weak and unable to overcome perhaps relatively smaller obstacles thrown in our paths.  

But bottom line--we are individuals, we were all born with finite levels of seratonin, or insulin, or receptors in our brains that make us immune to epilepsy, or strong genetic makeups that don't predispose us to cancers, or urinary tract infections, or menstrual cramps.  

Depression is no more a choice than any other physical malady.  Some positive thinking and lifestyle choices may affect any physical challenge transiently or partially, or in some cases it seems permanently.  But many challenges will remain unaffected by will or desire or prayer or assigning blame on oneself for the problem.  We only have "control" to a certain point, and feeling guilty because we can't control our bodies is pretty self-defeating.  We can't control sunrise or sunset, fall or spring, arm-span, or ears that grow as we age--so why do we think we can control mental aspects of our genetic makeup with "positive" thoughts?  

You likely weren't looking for a lecture when you made your post, but I have had one of the most difficult days of my life and found this site and made my own post requesting feedback, and I couldn't resist addressing the fact that you might feel guilty for being depressed.  I realize that probably only three people in the entire world will read this, but I feel better for having said it.  I sincerely hope that you see this, and re-think your position regarding depression.

I wish you peace,
Mimisbigsis  
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Avatar_n_tn
what lovely writing - i am in tears as i now write this reply to you.

thanks for tose lovely words to the world - may God bless you and guide you, and reward you as He sees fit.

To everyone who reads this, we are all different with different beliefs and different levels within those beliefs and if I or you discover different beliefs from one and other, let us tolerate each other and live out our lives in peace please. May God bless you all now and forever.

Nadeem, Oxford, UK
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had surgery 9 years ago. I went off tegretol 2 years after that. I did feel affects of the surgery and slight memory loss.
3 years ago I had tonic clonic seizure and since then have been back in tegretol because other drugs cannot control my epilepsy.
Yes, the drug has made me forget more things and has effected my depression in this way. This of course does not help me because depression affects memory as well.
Today I just happen to go on a course for depression for work..... The other at course were team leaders or managers that went on this to handle staff with depression etc. They do not how I am affected by the drug etc.
I read this site material a few days ago and now relize this memory effect will not go away. I also feel the depression because to advance at my job (IT) I need to pass exams normally every 2 years or so.

Life eh.

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