Oxcarbazepine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: oxcarbazepine (OX-kar-BAZ-e-peen)
Brand Name: Trileptal

Oxcarbazepine is used for:

Treating certain types of seizures in patients with epilepsy. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Oxcarbazepine is an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing abnormal nerve impulses in the brain.

Do NOT use oxcarbazepine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in oxcarbazepine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Before using oxcarbazepine:

Some medical conditions may interact with oxcarbazepine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are allergic to carbamazepine
  • if you have kidney or liver problems or low blood sodium levels
  • if you have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression), or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • if you have been tested and know whether or not you have a gene type called HLA-B*1502

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with oxcarbazepine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, selegiline), quetiapine, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of oxcarbazepine's side effects
  • Carbamazepine or valproic acid because they may decrease oxcarbazepine's effectiveness
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) or phenobarbital because they may decrease oxcarbazepine's effectiveness. The risk of their side effects may also be increased by oxcarbazepine
  • Aripiprazole, aromatase inhibitors (eg, exemestane), cyclosporine, epothilones (eg, ixabepilone), felodipine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), kinase inhibitors (eg, sunitinib), maraviroc, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) (eg, etravirine), quetiapine, tramadol, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because their effectiveness may be decreased by oxcarbazepine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if oxcarbazepine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use oxcarbazepine:

Use oxcarbazepine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Oxcarbazepine comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get oxcarbazepine refilled.
  • Take oxcarbazepine by mouth with or without food.
  • It is important to take all doses on time to keep the level of medicine in your blood constant. Take doses at evenly spaced intervals. Do not skip doses.
  • Taking oxcarbazepine at the same times each day will help you remember to take it.
  • Continue to take oxcarbazepine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses. Oxcarbazepine works best when there is a constant level of it in your body.
  • If oxcarbazepine is stopped, it should be done gradually as directed by your doctor. The risk of seizures may be increased if oxcarbazepine is suddenly stopped.
  • If you miss a dose of oxcarbazepine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use oxcarbazepine.

Important safety information:

  • Oxcarbazepine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, changes in vision, or difficulty with coordination. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use oxcarbazepine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using oxcarbazepine; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Patients who take oxcarbazepine may be at increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. The risk may be greater in patients who have had suicidal thoughts or actions in the past. Watch patients who take oxcarbazepine closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms, such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior, occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Patients who have a certain gene type called HLA-B*1502 may have an increased risk of these skin reactions from oxcarbazepine. This gene type is found most commonly in Asian patients. Tell your doctor if you have been tested and know whether or not you have the HLA-B*1502 gene type. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Carry identification (eg, MedicAlert) if oxcarbazepine is used for seizures. Carry an ID card at all times that says you take oxcarbazepine.
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using oxcarbazepine. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
  • Oxcarbazepine may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to oxcarbazepine. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking oxcarbazepine. Oxcarbazepine must be gradually decreased when discontinued. Talk to your doctor about the proper way to stop taking oxcarbazepine.
  • Notify your doctor if seizure control worsens.
  • Lab tests, including sodium blood levels, may be performed while you use oxcarbazepine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use oxcarbazepine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Oxcarbazepine should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 years; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • Oxcarbazepine may become less effective if used during pregnancy. Your doctor will closely monitor your condition. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Oxcarbazepine may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking oxcarbazepine while you are pregnant. Oxcarbazepine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking oxcarbazepine.

Possible side effects of oxcarbazepine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; indigestion; mild stomach pain; nausea; tiredness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, eyes, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); blood in the stool; chest pain; decreased coordination; decreased urination; difficulty concentrating or speaking; double vision, changes in vision, or involuntary eye movement; dulled sense of touch; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; joint or muscle pain, swelling, or weakness; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, depression, agitation, anxiety, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, behavior changes, suicidal thoughts or actions); new or worsening seizures; nosebleed; severe or persistent stomach pain; shortness of breath; swollen lymph nodes; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes); symptoms of low sodium levels (nausea, general body discomfort, headache, lack of energy, confusion, decreased consciousness, increased frequency or severity of seizures); tremor; trouble sleeping; trouble walking; uncontrolled muscle movements; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1- 800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of oxcarbazepine:

Store oxcarbazepine at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep oxcarbazepine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about oxcarbazepine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Oxcarbazepine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take oxcarbazepine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about oxcarbazepine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to oxcarbazepine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using oxcarbazepine.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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