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How long does it take for Trileptal to work?

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Oct 12, 2022.

Official answer


Trileptal (oxcarbazepine) is a medication used to treat partial-onset seizures. It is taken twice a day and is used on its own and with other anti-epileptic medications to help reduce the frequency of seizures.

Because Trileptal works to stop seizures it may take days, weeks or even months to see if Trileptal is working for you to reduce the frequency of your seizures. The length of time patients were treated with Trileptal in clinical studies varied from days to almost 6 months.

When patients first start on Trileptal they are only given a low dose. The dose is then increased each week for about 2-4 weeks until the recommended daily maintenance dose of the drug is reached. Within 2-3 days of starting a daily maintenance dose of Trileptal, the level of MHD (10-monohydroxy metabolite) - the active part of the drug - will reach a consistent level in your body if you continue to take it as prescribed.

Trileptal may also be used ‘off-label’ as a mood stabilizer for the treatment of bipolar disorder. This condition also requires long-term treatment and patients may need to take Trileptal for several weeks to see obvious signs that their symptoms are improving and Trileptal is working for them.


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