Prescribing carbamazepine

Prescribing carbamazepine

If a prescriber wants to use an unlicensed or off-label medicine, they must follow their professional guide, for example for doctors the General Medical Council's good practice guidelines. These include giving information about the treatment and discussing the possible benefits and harms so that the person has enough information to decide whether or not to have the treatment. This is called giving informed consent.

A full version of the summary aimed at healthcare professionals is available on the NICE website. The summary for healthcare professionals does not contain recommendations from NICE on whether the medicine should be used.

Questions to ask

  • Why am I, or someone I care for, being offered an off-label medicine?

  • What does the treatment involve?

  • What are the possible benefits?

  • How good are the chances of getting those benefits?

  • Could having the treatment make me, or the person I care for, feel worse?

  • Are there alternative treatments?

  • What are the risks of the treatment?

  • Are the risks minor or serious? How likely are they to happen?

  • What may happen if I or the person I care for doesn't have the treatment?