How soon will I see an improvement?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hello to all fellow sufferers,

I have just this week been started on Carbamazepine 100mg once a day, to be increased to 200mg in split doses tomorrow. My question is how soon will I see an improvement? My GP wants to go slow with the medication as I am already taking Hydroxychloroquine (for another health issue) which can also cause liver problems.

At the moment I am experiencing the spikey-footed spider sensation across my left cheek, jaw and ear lobe. I also get the odd sequence of stabbing pains in various parts of my face, but they are less painful than earlier this year, which I think is down to the increased Amitriptyline dose.

Other than that I'm just peachy!

Best wishes to all.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Susan

    Once you've found the right dose for you, the pain relief should be relatively fast. Don't take more than you need to and slowly come off the drug as the symptoms subside. Your GP will advise, of course. The recommended approach is slow increase and slow decrease. That's what I do and it seems to work for me. Colin.

    PS Avoid alcohol when taking Carbamazapine.

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    • Posted

      Hi, Colin,

      Thanks, I have avoid alcohol with the drugs I'm already on, darn it!! 

      Slow and steady seems to be the best way with Carbamazepine. I am back at the doc's in two weeks for progress check, hopefully by then things will have improved.

      Best wishes.


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  • Posted


    100 seem sreally low. I've been on Carbamazepine 9 years. It's awesome. Started at 200 a day and got instant relief from where I couldn't even speak. Have increased overe the years. Up to 800 now. That seems to be enough. Been there 3 years.


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    • Posted

      Hi, Eddie,

      I thought the start dose was normally a bit higher but like I said I already have to take drugs for another health issue which can also affect the liver, so it makes sense to go a little more carefully with this drug too!

      I should hopefully feel better soon, not quite at the not able to speak stage. Just continual periods of stabs and almost conyinuous weird cheek sensation.

      Thanks and best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Hi Susan, I'm also on hydroxychloroquine - do you have lupus as well?  I wasn't aware of any need to avoid alcohol (apart from the usual health issues) but have found that I can't take more than a couple of glasses of wine, and I do feel particularly tired the following day.  Maybe I will reduce further. 

    With regard to Carbamazapine, I started on same 100 mg twice a day, then gradually increasing to now on 200 mg at 8 am, 100mg at 3pm and 200mg at 10pm - kept to this regime to keep a steady level in the blood - and use the alarm function on my phone so I don't forget!  That seems to work for me but everyone's different!

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    • Posted

      Hi, Heather,

      Looong story! Basically, many health problems for over 10 years culminating in visit to GP, blood tests and referral to Rheuamatology and varying potential diagnoses. I have something in the Autoimmune bracket but my Consultant seems reluctant to put a name to it!!

      Anyhow, it's always a good idea to avoid alcohol when taking any medication that has the potential to affect the liver adversely. The liver cannot process drugs efficiently if it is already overwhelmed or damaged by alcohol consumption. I also take Amitriptyline for neuropathic pain and this does not mix well with booze.......freaky weird dreams that are so realistic, I have had many an argument with people or seen strange things in my dreams that I am convinced are real, I then struggle to work out what was real or otherwise (that makes me seem as though I drink everyday LOL, not true!!). 

      Carbamazepine has a direct effect on nerve pathways as does alcohol so it is possible that an interaction could be quite unpleasant, also it can cause problems with the liver. Anyone taking it should have their liver function monitored every three to four months.

      I've only just started it this last week and it's too early to tell if it has had an effect in combatting the TN. Glad that you're experiencing a respite at present. Thanks for your advice about the alarm, with my odd working hours that's sound advice which I shall follow.

      Best wishes.

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