Bipolar Disorder Home > Equetro

Equetro can be prescribed to treat manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder. The medication comes in the form of a capsule and it usually taken twice daily. The dosage your healthcare provider recommends will be based on several factors, such as other medications you are taking and other medical conditions you may have. Side effects of Equetro can include dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea.

What Is Equetro?

Equetro® (carbamazepine) is a prescription medication used to treat bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression). Specifically, it is approved to treat manic or mixed episodes (which include characteristics of both mania and depression) associated with bipolar disorder.
(Click Equetro Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Equetro?

Equetro is manufactured by Shire US, Inc. and is marketed and distributed by Validus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does It Work?

It is not known how exactly Equetro works for bipolar disorder treatment. In fact, carbamazepine (the active ingredient of Equetro) was originally developed as a seizure medication and is still one of the most commonly used medications to treat seizures. Equetro affects several different brain chemicals -- though it is not known if this is how it works for bipolar disorder.


Two studies have evaluated the safety and efficacy of Equetro for treating bipolar disorder. In these studies, people with bipolar disorder having a manic episode or mixed episode were treated with either Equetro or a sugar pill (placebo). Those being treated with Equetro had more improvement in their bipolar disorder symptoms, compared with those taking the placebo. It is important to understand that these studies were short (only three weeks long), and Equetro has not been shown effective for long-term use.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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