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Oxcarbazepine

Generic Name: oxcarbazepine (ox kar BAY zeh peen)
Brand Name: Oxtellar XR, Trileptal

Medically reviewed on May 4, 2018

What is oxcarbazepine?

See also: Ingrezza

Oxcarbazepine is an anticonvulsant. It works by decreasing nerve impulses that cause seizures and pain.

Oxcarbazepine is used either alone or with other medicines to treat partial seizures.

The Trileptal brand of oxcarbazepine is used as a single medicine in adults and children who are at least 4 years old. Trileptal is used with other medicines in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.

The Oxtellar XR brand of oxcarbazepine is used with other medicines in adults and children who are at least 6 years old.

Oxcarbazepine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of a serious drug reaction: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, unusual bruising or bleeding, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of low sodium levels in your body, such as nausea, confusion, severe weakness, muscle pain, or increased seizures.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking seizure medicine. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Do not stop using oxcarbazepine suddenly.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take oxcarbazepine if you are allergic to oxcarbazepine or eslicarbazepine.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking oxcarbazepine. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Do not start or stop taking oxcarbazepine during pregnancy without your doctor's advice. Having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking oxcarbazepine for seizures.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of oxcarbazepine on the baby.

Oxcarbazepine can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy.

You should not breast-feed while you are taking oxcarbazepine.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. There are specific age restrictions for the use of oxcarbazepine in children, depending on the dose form and whether it is used alone or with other medicines.

How should I take oxcarbazepine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Give the liquid directly from the oral syringe, or mix the medicine with a small glass of water. After using the syringe, rinse it with water and allow it to air dry.

Take the oxcarbazepine extended-release tablet on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

You may take the oxcarbazepine oral liquid or regular tablet with or without food.

Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

You may need frequent blood tests.

Do not stop using oxcarbazepine suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you use oxcarbazepine.

Seizures are often treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Throw away any unused liquid 7 weeks after opening the bottle.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking oxcarbazepine?

Do not drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects, and may increase the risk of seizures.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise, in hot weather, or by not drinking enough fluids. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how oxcarbazepine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Oxcarbazepine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Oxcarbazepine can reduce the sodium in your body to dangerously low levels, which can cause a life-threatening electrolyte imbalance. Call your doctor right away if you have nausea, lack of energy, confusion, feeling tired or irritable, severe weakness, muscle pain, or increased seizures.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;

  • balance or coordination problems;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • tremors or shaking;

  • double vision; or

  • rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect oxcarbazepine?

Using oxcarbazepine with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can affect oxcarbazepine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

  • Your pharmacist has information about oxcarbazepine.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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