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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 898261, 15 pages
Review Article

Interaction of Carbamazepine with Herbs, Dietary Supplements, and Food: A Systematic Review

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong

Received 26 March 2013; Accepted 17 July 2013

Academic Editor: William C. S. Cho

Copyright © 2013 Sophia Yui Kau Fong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Carbamazepine (CBZ) is a first-line antiepileptic drug which may be prone to drug interactions. Systematic review of herb- and food-drug interactions on CBZ is warranted to provide guidance for medical professionals when prescribing CBZ. Method. A systematic review was conducted on six English databases and four Chinese databases. Results. 196 out of 3179 articles fulfilled inclusion criteria, of which 74 articles were reviewed and 33 herbal products/dietary supplement/food interacting with CBZ were identified. No fatal or severe interactions were documented. The majority of the interactions were pharmacokinetic-based (80%). Traditional Chinese medicine accounted for most of the interactions ( ), followed by food ( ), dietary supplements ( ), and other herbs/botanicals ( ). Coadministration of 11 and 12 of the studied herbal products/dietary supplement/food significantly decreased or increased the plasma concentrations of CBZ. Regarding pharmacodynamic interaction, Xiao-yao-san, melatonin, and alcohol increased the side effects of CBZ while caffeine lowered the antiepileptic efficacy of CBZ. Conclusion. This review provides a comprehensive summary of the documented interactions between CBZ and herbal products/food/dietary supplements which assists healthcare professionals to identify potential herb-drug and food-drug interactions, thereby preventing potential adverse events and improving patients’ therapeutic outcomes when prescribing CBZ.