Medically reviewed on March 25, 2018
(ox car BAZ e peen)
- GP 47680
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.
Trileptal: 300 mg/5 mL (250 mL) [contains alcohol, usp, methyl hydroxybenzoate, propyl hydroxybenzoate, propylene glycol, saccharin sodium; lemon flavor]
Generic: 300 mg/5 mL (250 mL)
Trileptal: 150 mg, 300 mg, 600 mg [scored]
Generic: 150 mg, 300 mg, 600 mg
Tablet Extended Release 24 Hour, Oral:
Oxtellar XR: 150 mg, 300 mg, 600 mg
Brand Names: U.S.
- Oxtellar XR
- Anticonvulsant, Miscellaneous
Pharmacological activity results from both oxcarbazepine and its monohydroxy metabolite (MHD). Precise mechanism of anticonvulsant effect has not been defined. Oxcarbazepine and MHD block voltage-sensitive sodium channels, stabilizing hyperexcited neuronal membranes, inhibiting repetitive firing, and decreasing the propagation of synaptic impulses. These actions are believed to prevent the spread of seizures. Oxcarbazepine and MHD also increase potassium conductance and modulate the activity of high-voltage activated calcium channels.
MHD: Vd: 49 L
Oxcarbazepine is extensively metabolized in the liver to its active 10-monohydroxy metabolite (MHD); MHD undergoes further metabolism via glucuronide conjugation; 4% of dose is oxidized to the 10,11-dihydroxy metabolite (DHD) (inactive); 70% of serum concentration appears as MHD, 2% as unchanged oxcarbazepine, and the rest as minor metabolites; Note: Unlike carbamazepine, autoinduction of metabolism has not been observed and biotransformation of oxcarbazepine does not result in an epoxide metabolite
Urine (95%, <1% as unchanged oxcarbazepine, 27% as unchanged MHD, 49% as MHD glucuronides, 3% as DHD (inactive), and 13% as conjugate of oxcarbazepine and MHD); feces (<4%)
Clearance (per body weight):
Children 2 to <4 years: Increased by ∼80% compared to adults
Children 4 to 12 years: Increased by ∼40% compared to adults
Children ≥13 years: Values approach adult clearance
Time to Peak
Children 2 to 12 years: Immediate release: Oxcarbazepine: 1 hour; MHD: 3 to 4 hours (Rey 2004)
Adults: Immediate release: MHD: Tablets: Median: 4.5 hours (range: 3 to 13 hours); Suspension: Median 6 hours; Extended release: MHD: 7 hours
Children (Rey, 2004): 2 to 5 years: MHD: Single dose: Mean range: 4.8 to 6.7 hours; 6 to 12 years: MHD: Single dose: Mean range: 7.2 to 9.3 hours
Adults: Immediate release: Parent drug: 2 hours; MHD: 9 hours; renal impairment (CrCl 30 mL/minute): MHD: 19 hours; Extended release: Parent drug: 7 to 11 hours; MHD: 9 to 11 hours
Oxcarbazepine: 67%; MHD: 40%, primarily to albumin; parent drug and metabolite do not bind to alpha-1 acid glycoprotein
Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment
If CrCl <30 mL/minute, elimination half-life of MHD is prolonged to 19 hours and there is a 2-fold increase in AUC.
Special Populations: Elderly
Max plasma concentration and AUC values of MHD were 30% to 60% higher.
Use: Labeled Indications
US labeling: Monotherapy or adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures in adults, as monotherapy in the treatment of partial seizures in children 4 years and older with epilepsy, and as adjunctive therapy in children 2 years and older with partial seizures.
Canadian labeling: Monotherapy or adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures in patients 6 years and older.
Extended-release: Adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures in adults and in children 6 to 17 years of age.
Off Label Uses
Data from a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study supports the use of oxcarbazepine monotherapy in the treatment of neuropathic pain of diabetic origin [Dogra 2005], [Zhou 2013]. Additional trials may be necessary to further define the role of oxcarbazepine in this condition.
Based on the American Academy of Neurology evidence-based guidelines for the Treatment of Painful Diabetic Neuropathy, oxcarbazepine is probably not effective and should probably not be considered for the management of painful diabetic neuropathy. However, based on the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) evidence-based recommendations for the Pharmacologic Management of Neuropathic Pain, oxcarbazepine given for painful diabetic neuropathy is suggested for patients who have not responded to first- and second-line medications [Dworkin 2007].
Hypersensitivity to oxcarbazepine, eslicarbazepine acetate, or any component of the formulation
Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for carbamazepine and analogues is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.
Adjunctive therapy, partial seizures (epilepsy): Oral:
Immediate release: Initial: 600 mg daily in 2 divided doses; dose may be increased by as much as 600 mg/day increments at weekly intervals; maximum recommended dose: 1,200 mg/day in 2 divided doses. Although doses >1,200 mg/day were somewhat more efficacious, most patients were unable to tolerate 2,400 mg/day (due to CNS effects).
Extended release: Initial: 600 mg once daily; dosage may be increased by 600 mg/day increments at weekly intervals. Recommended daily dose is 1,200 to 2,400 mg once daily. Although daily doses >1,200 mg daily were somewhat more efficacious, most patients were unable to tolerate 2,400 mg daily (due to CNS effects).
Conversion to monotherapy, partial seizures (epilepsy): Patients receiving concomitant antiepileptic drugs (AEDs): Oral: Immediate release: Initial: 600 mg daily in 2 divided doses while simultaneously reducing the dose of concomitant AEDs. Withdraw concomitant AEDs completely over 3 to 6 weeks, while increasing the oxcarbazepine dose in increments of 600 mg daily at weekly intervals, reaching the maximum oxcarbazepine dose (2,400 mg/day) in about 2 to 4 weeks (lower doses have been effective in patients in whom monotherapy has been initiated).
Initiation of monotherapy, partial seizures (epilepsy): Patients not receiving prior AEDs: Oral: Immediate release: Initial: 600 mg daily in 2 divided doses. Increase dose by 300 mg daily every third day to a dose of 1,200 mg daily. Higher dosages (2,400 mg daily) have been shown to be effective in patients converted to monotherapy from other AEDs.
Conversion from immediate release to extended release: Higher doses of extended release formulation may be necessary.
Dosage adjustment with concomitant antiepileptic drugs (AEDs): Concomitant use with enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs (eg, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin): Extended release: Consider initiating dose at 900 mg once daily.
Neuropathic pain (off-label use): Oral: Initial: 300 mg/day; increase dose after 3 days to 300 mg twice daily, then adjust dose based on response and tolerability in increments of 300 mg every 5 days up to a maximum dose of 900 mg twice daily. Mean dose during clinical trial maintenance period was 1,445 mg/day (Dogra 2005).
Immediate release: Refer to adult dosing.
Extended release: Initial: 300 mg or 450 mg once daily should be considered; dosage may be increased by 300 to 450 mg daily increments at weekly intervals to desired clinical response.
Adjunctive treatment, partial seizures (epilepsy): Oral:
Children 2 to 3 years (US labeling): Immediate release:
Initial: 8 to 10 mg/kg/day, not to exceed 600 mg/day, given in 2 divided daily doses
Maintenance: The target maintenance dose should be achieved over 2 to 4 weeks, and is dependent upon patient weight (should not exceed 60 mg/kg/day given in 2 divided daily doses).
<20 kg: Consider initiating dose at 16 to 20 mg/kg/day; maximum maintenance dose should be achieved over 2 to 4 weeks and should not exceed 60 mg/kg/day
Children 4 to 16 years (US labeling) or 6 to 16 years (Canadian labeling): Immediate release:
Initial: 8 to 10 mg/kg/day, not to exceed 600 mg/day, given in 2 divided daily doses
Maintenance: The target maintenance dose should be achieved over 2 weeks, and is dependent upon patient weight, according to the following:
20 to 29 kg: 900 mg daily in 2 divided doses
29.1 to 39 kg: 1,200 mg daily in 2 divided doses
>39 kg: 1,800 mg daily in 2 divided doses
Children 6 to 17 years: Extended release:
Initial: 8 to 10 mg/kg once daily (not to exceed 600 mg/day in the first week)
Maintenance: The target maintenance dose should be achieved over 2 to 3 weeks with dose increases of 8 to 10 mg/kg/day increments at weekly intervals (maximum dosage incremental increase: 600 mg). Target maintenance dose depends on weight:
20 to 29 kg: 900 mg once daily
29.1 to 39 kg: 1,200 mg once daily
>39 kg: 1,800 mg once daily
Conversion to monotherapy, partial seizures (epilepsy): Patients receiving concomitant antiepileptic drugs (AEDs): Children 4 to 16 years (US labeling) or 6 to 16 years (Canadian labeling): Oral: Immediate release: Initial: 8 to 10 mg/kg/day in twice daily divided doses, while simultaneously initiating the dose reduction of concomitant antiepileptic drugs; the concomitant drugs should be withdrawn over 3 to 6 weeks. Oxcarbazepine dose may be increased by a maximum of 10 mg/kg/day at weekly intervals. See below for recommended total daily dose by weight.
Initiation of monotherapy, partial seizures (epilepsy): Patients not receiving prior AEDs: Children 4 to 16 years (US labeling) or 6 to 16 years (Canadian labeling): Oral: Immediate release: Initial: 8 to 10 mg/kg/day in twice daily divided doses; doses may be titrated by 5 mg/kg/day every third day. See below for recommended total daily dose by weight.
Range of maintenance doses by weight during monotherapy:
20 kg: 600 to 900 mg daily
25 to 30 kg: 900 to 1,200 mg daily
35 to 40 kg: 900 to 1,500 mg daily
45 kg: 1,200 to 1,500 mg daily
50 to 55 kg: 1,200 to 1,800 mg daily
60 to 65 kg: 1,200 to 2,100 mg daily
70 kg: 1,500 to 2,100 mg daily
Conversion from immediate release to extended release: Children ≥6 years and Adolescents: Refer to adult dosing.
Dosage adjustment with concomitant antiepileptic drugs (AEDs): Children ≥6 years and Adolescents: Refer to adult dosing.
Dosing: Renal Impairment
Mild-to-moderate impairment: There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling.
Severe impairment (CrCl <30 mL/minute): Immediate release, Extended release: Therapy should be initiated at one-half the usual starting dose (300 mg daily in adults) and increased slowly to achieve desired clinical response (eg, 300 to 450 mg daily at weekly intervals).
ESRD (on dialysis): Immediate release formulations should be used instead of extended release formulation.
Dosing: Hepatic Impairment
Mild-to-moderate impairment: No dosage adjustments necessary.
Immediate release: There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use caution (has not been studied).
Extended release: There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use is not recommended (has not been studied).
Immediate release: Administer twice daily without regard to meals.
Suspension: Prior to using for the first time, firmly insert the plastic adapter provided with the bottle. Cover adapter with child-resistant cap when not in use. Shake bottle for at least 10 seconds, remove child-resistant cap, and insert the oral dosing syringe provided to withdraw appropriate dose. Dose may be taken directly from oral syringe or may be mixed in a small glass of water immediately prior to swallowing. Rinse syringe with warm water after use and allow to dry thoroughly. Discard any unused portion after 7 weeks of first opening bottle.
Extended release: Administer once daily on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food. Swallow whole; do not cut, crush, or chew the tablets.
Store tablets and suspension at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F). Store suspension in the original container; use within 7 weeks of first opening container. Dispense extended release tablets in a tight, light-resistant container; protect from light and moisture.
Alcohol (Ethyl): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of OXcarbazepine. Monitor therapy
Bictegravir: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Bictegravir. Management: When possible consider using an alternative anticonvulsant with concurrent bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide. If the combination must be used, monitor closely for evidence of reduced antiviral effectiveness. Consider therapy modification
CarBAMazepine: May decrease serum concentrations of the active metabolite(s) of OXcarbazepine. Specifically, concentrations of the major active 10-monohydroxy metabolite may be reduced. Management: Consider increasing the initial adult oxcarbazepine extended release tablet (Oxtellar XR) dose to 900 mg/day. No specific recommendations are available for other oxcarbazepine formulations. Consider therapy modification
CloZAPine: CYP3A4 Inducers (Weak) may decrease the serum concentration of CloZAPine. Monitor therapy
Cobicistat: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Cobicistat. Management: Consider an alternative antiepileptic when possible. Consider therapy modification
CYP3A4 Inducers (Strong): May decrease the serum concentration of OXcarbazepine. Specifically, the concentrations of the 10-monohydroxy active metabolite of oxcarbazepine may be decreased. Monitor therapy
Dolutegravir: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Dolutegravir. Avoid combination
Elvitegravir: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Elvitegravir. Management: For elvitegravir plus a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor, use of oxcarbazepine is not recommended; for elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir combination products, consider using an alternative antiepileptic when possible. Avoid combination
Eslicarbazepine: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of OXcarbazepine. Avoid combination
Estrogen Derivatives (Contraceptive): OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Estrogen Derivatives (Contraceptive). Contraceptive failure is possible. Management: Use of an alternative, nonhormonal contraceptive is recommended. Consider therapy modification
Fosphenytoin-Phenytoin: May decrease serum concentrations of the active metabolite(s) of OXcarbazepine. Specifically, concentrations of the major active 10-monohydroxy metabolite may be reduced. OXcarbazepine may increase the serum concentration of Fosphenytoin-Phenytoin. Management: Consider increasing the initial adult oxcarbazepine extended release tablet (Oxtellar XR) dose to 900 mg/day. No specific recommendations are available for other oxcarbazepine formulations. Consider therapy modification
Ledipasvir: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Ledipasvir. Avoid combination
LevETIRAcetam: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of LevETIRAcetam. Monitor therapy
Mefloquine: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Anticonvulsants. Mefloquine may decrease the serum concentration of Anticonvulsants. Management: Mefloquine is contraindicated for malaria prophylaxis in persons with a history of convulsions. Monitor anticonvulsant concentrations and treatment response closely with concurrent use. Consider therapy modification
Mianserin: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Anticonvulsants. Monitor therapy
NiMODipine: CYP3A4 Inducers (Weak) may decrease the serum concentration of NiMODipine. Monitor therapy
Orlistat: May decrease the serum concentration of Anticonvulsants. Monitor therapy
Perampanel: May increase the serum concentration of OXcarbazepine. OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Perampanel. Management: Increase the perampanel starting dose to 4 mg/day when perampanel is used with oxcarbazepine. Patients receiving this combination should be followed closely for response, especially with any changes to oxcarbazepine therapy. Consider therapy modification
PHENobarbital: May decrease serum concentrations of the active metabolite(s) of OXcarbazepine. Specifically, concentrations of the major active 10-monohydroxy metabolite may be reduced. OXcarbazepine may increase the serum concentration of PHENobarbital. Management: Consider increasing the initial adult oxcarbazepine extended release tablet (Oxtellar XR) dose to 900 mg/day. No specific recommendations are available for other oxcarbazepine formulations. Consider therapy modification
Progestins (Contraceptive): OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Progestins (Contraceptive). Management: Contraceptive failure is possible. Use of an additional or alternative, nonhormonal method of contraception is recommended. Consider therapy modification
RifAMPin: May decrease serum concentrations of the active metabolite(s) of OXcarbazepine. Specifically, concentrations of the major active 10-monohydroxy metabolite may be reduced. Monitor therapy
Rilpivirine: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Rilpivirine. Avoid combination
Selegiline: OXcarbazepine may enhance the serotonergic effect of Selegiline. Avoid combination
Simeprevir: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Simeprevir. Avoid combination
Sofosbuvir: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Sofosbuvir. Avoid combination
Tenofovir Alafenamide: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Tenofovir Alafenamide. Avoid combination
Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of OXcarbazepine. Specifically, there may be an increased risk for hyponatremia. Monitor therapy
Ulipristal: OXcarbazepine may decrease the serum concentration of Ulipristal. Avoid combination
Valproate Products: May decrease the serum concentration of OXcarbazepine. Monitor therapy
Thyroid function tests; may depress serum T4 without affecting T3 levels or TSH
Frequency not always defined. Incidence in children was similar.
Central nervous system: Dizziness (20% to 49%), drowsiness (12% to 36%), headache (8% to 32%), ataxia (2% to 31%), abnormal gait (≤17%), fatigue (3% to 15%), vertigo (2% to 15%)
Gastrointestinal: Vomiting (7% to 36%), nausea (15% to 29%), abdominal pain (10% to 13%)
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Tremor (4% to 16%)
Ophthalmic: Diplopia (10% to 40%), nystagmus (3% to 26%), visual disturbance (1% to 14%)
1% to 10%:
Cardiovascular: Lower extremity edema (2%), hypotension (≤2%), bradycardia, cardiac failure, flushing, hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, palpitations, syncope, tachycardia
Central nervous system: Equilibrium disturbance (7%), nervousness (2% to 5%), amnesia (4%), emotional lability (4%), falling (4%), abnormality in thinking (≤4%), insomnia (2% to 4%), dysmetria (1% to 3%), speech disorder (1% to 3%), agitation (2%), confusion (2%), lack of concentration (2%), seizure (2%), abnormal electroencephalogram (≤2%), feeling abnormal (≤2%), myasthenia (1% to 2%), aggressive behavior, anxiety, apathy, aphasia, aura, cerebral hemorrhage, delirium, delusion, depression, dystonia, euphoria extrapyramidal reaction, hemiplegia, hyperkinesia, hyperreflexia, hypertonia, hypokinesia, hyporeflexia, hypotonia, hysteria, impaired consciousness, intoxicated feeling, malaise, manic behavior, migraine, neuralgia, nightmares, oculogyric crisis, panic disorder, paralysis, personality disorder, precordial pain, psychosis, rigors, seizure (aggravated), stupor, voice disorder
Dermatologic: Skin rash (4%), diaphoresis (3%), acne vulgaris (1% to 2%), alopecia, contact dermatitis, eczema, erythematosus rash, facial rash, folliculitis, genital pruritus, maculopapular rash, miliaria, psoriasis, skin photosensitivity, urticaria, vitiligo
Endocrine & metabolic: Decreased serum sodium (<135 mEq/L: 7% to 9%), hyponatremia (1% to 3%), weight gain (2%), change in libido, decreased T4, hot flash, hyperglycemia, hypermenorrhea, hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia, hypokalemia, increased gamma-glutamyl transferase, intermenstrual bleeding, weight loss
Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea (7%), dyspepsia (≤6%), constipation (4% to 6%), dysgeusia (5%), xerostomia (3%), gastritis (≤3%), upper abdominal pain (≤3%), aphthous stomatitis, biliary colic, bloody stools, cholelithiasis, colitis, duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, enteritis, eructation, esophagitis, flatulence, gastric ulcer, gingival hemorrhage, gingival hyperplasia, hematemesis, hemorrhoids, hiccups, increased appetite, retching, sialadenitis, stomatitis
Genitourinary: Urinary frequency (2%), dysuria, hematuria, leukorrhea, priapism, urinary tract pain
Hematologic & oncologic: Bruise (2%), purpura, rectal hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia
Hepatic: Increased liver enzymes
Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity reaction (2%), angioedema
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Weakness (2% to 7%), back pain (4%), muscle spasm (2%), sprain (≤2%), right hypochondrium pain, systemic lupus erythematosus, tetany
Ophthalmic: Blurred vision (4%), accommodation disturbance (≤2%), blepharoptosis, cataract, conjunctival hemorrhage, hemianopia, mydriasis, ocular edema, photophobia, scotoma, xerophthalmia
Otic: Otitis externa, tinnitus
Renal: Nephrolithiasis, polyuria, renal pain
Respiratory: Rhinitis (5% to 10%), upper respiratory tract infection (7%), pulmonary infection (4%), epistaxis (4%), sinusitis (≤4%), nasopharyngitis (≤3%), pneumonia (2%), asthma, dyspnea, laryngismus, pleurisy
Miscellaneous: Fever (3%)
<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, agranulocytosis, anaphylaxis, aplastic anemia, atrioventricular block, bone fracture (long-term therapy), decreased bone mineral density (long-term therapy), DRESS syndrome, dysarthria, erythema multiforme, falling, folate deficiency, hepatic failure, hepatitis (Hsu 2010), hypoesthesia, hypothyroidism, increased serum amylase, increased serum lipase, leukopenia, multiorgan hypersensitivity (eosinophilia, arthralgia, rash, fever, lymphadenopathy), osteopenia (long-term therapy), osteoporosis (long-term therapy), pancreatitis, pancytopenia, SIADH, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, suicidal ideation, suicidal tendencies, toxic epidermal necrolysis
Concerns related to adverse effects:
• Blood dyscrasias: Agranulocytosis, leukopenia, and pancytopenia have been reported with use (rare); discontinuation and conversion to alternate therapy may be required.
• Bone disorders: Long term use has been associated with decreased bone mineral density, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures.
• CNS effects: Use has been associated with CNS-related adverse events, most significant of these were cognitive symptoms including psychomotor slowing, difficulty with concentration, and speech or language problems, somnolence or fatigue, and coordination abnormalities, including ataxia and gait disturbances. Caution patients about performing tasks which require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery or driving).
• Dermatologic reactions: Potentially serious, sometimes fatal, dermatologic reactions (eg, Stevens-Johnson, toxic epidermal necrolysis) have been reported in adults and children; the median time to onset was 19 days after treatment initiation. Monitor for signs and symptoms of skin reactions; discontinuation and conversion to alternate therapy may be required. Recurrence of serious skin reactions have been reported with oxcarbazepine rechallenge.
• Hepatic dysfunction: Hepatitis has been reported rarely (Hsu 2010). Promptly evaluate any symptoms of hepatic dysfunction (eg, anorexia, nausea/vomiting, right upper quadrant pain, pruritus) and discontinue therapy immediately if significant abnormalities are confirmed.
• Hypersensitivity reactions: Rare cases of anaphylaxis and angioedema have been reported, even after initial dosing; permanently discontinue should symptoms occur. Use caution in patients with previous hypersensitivity to carbamazepine (cross-sensitivity occurs in 25% to 30% of patients). Potentially serious, sometimes fatal drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) also known as multiorgan hypersensitivity reactions have also been reported in close association with initiation of oxcarbazepine; monitor for signs and symptoms of possible disparate manifestations associated with lymphatic, hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, and/or hematologic organ systems; discontinuation and conversion to alternate therapy may be required.
• Hyponatremia: Clinically significant hyponatremia (serum sodium <125 mmol/L) and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) may develop during use; consider monitoring serum sodium (particularly during the first 3 months of therapy) especially in patients at risk for hyponatremia (eg, elderly patients).
• Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism has been reported; consider monitoring thyroid function, particularly in pediatric patients. Discontinuation of therapy has been associated with return of normal thyroxine levels.
• Suicidal ideation: Pooled analysis of trials involving various antiepileptics (regardless of indication) showed an increased risk of suicidal thoughts/behavior (incidence rate: 0.43% treated patients compared to 0.24% of patients receiving placebo); risk observed as early as 1 week after initiation and continued through duration of trials (most trials ≤24 weeks). Monitor all patients for notable changes in behavior that might indicate suicidal thoughts or depression; patients should be instructed to notify healthcare provider immediately if symptoms occur.
• Cardiovascular disease: Clinical trials excluded patients with significant cardiovascular disease or ECG abnormalities. Monitor body weight/fluid retention in patients with HF; evaluate serum sodium with worsening cardiac function or fluid retention.
• Renal impairment: Single-dose studies show that half-life of the primary active metabolite is prolonged 3- to 4-fold and AUC is doubled in patients with CrCl <30 mL/minute; dose adjustment required in these patients.
• Seizure disorder: Exacerbation of or new onset primary generalized seizures has been reported, particularly in children. In case of seizure aggravation, discontinue oxcarbazepine.
Concurrent drug therapy issues:
• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.
• Asian ancestry: Consider screening patients of Asian descent for the variant human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele B*1502 prior to initiating therapy. This genetic variant has been associated with a significantly increased risk of developing Stevens-Johnson syndrome and/or toxic epidermal necrolysis in patients receiving carbamazepine. Structural similarity of oxcarbazepine to carbamazepine, available clinical evidence, and data from nonclinical studies showing a direct interaction of oxcarbazepine with the HLA-B*1502 protein suggest patients receiving oxcarbazepine may also be at a similar risk. Consider avoiding use of oxcarbazepine in patients with a positive result. Screening is not recommending in low-risk populations or in current oxcarbazepine patients (risk usually during first few months of therapy).
• Withdrawal: Anticonvulsants should not be discontinued abruptly because of the possibility of increasing seizure frequency; therapy should be withdrawn gradually to minimize the potential of increased seizure frequency, unless safety concerns require a more rapid withdrawal.
Seizure frequency; serum sodium as deemed necessary (particularly during first 3 months of therapy); symptoms of CNS depression (dizziness, headache, somnolence); hypersensitivity reactions. Additional serum sodium monitoring recommended during maintenance treatment in patients receiving other medications known to decrease sodium levels, in patients with signs/symptoms of hyponatremia, and in patients with an increase in seizure frequency or severity. Periodic thyroid function tests (particularly pediatric patients) and CBC. Monitor for suicidality (eg, suicidal thoughts, depression, behavioral changes). Serum levels of concomitant antiepileptic drugs during titration as necessary.
Pregnancy Risk Factor
Adverse events have been observed in animal reproduction studies. Oxcarbazepine, the active metabolite MHD and the inactive metabolite DHD, crosses the placenta and can be detected in the newborn (Myllynen 2001). According to the manufacturer, data from a limited number of pregnancies collected from pregnancy registries suggest congenital malformations associated with oxcarbazepine monotherapy, including craniofacial defects and cardiac malformations. In general, the risk of teratogenic effects is higher with AED polytherapy than monotherapy (Harden 2009). Plasma concentrations of MHD gradually decrease due to physiologic changes which occur during pregnancy; patients should be monitored during pregnancy and postpartum. Oxcarbazepine may decrease plasma concentrations of hormonal contraceptives.
Data collection to monitor pregnancy and infant outcomes following exposure to oxcarbazepine is ongoing. Patients exposed to oxcarbazepine during pregnancy are encouraged to enroll themselves into the NAAED Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. Additional information is available at www.aedpregnancyregistry.org.
• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)
• Patient may experience headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, dizziness, fatigue, tremors, anxiety, insomnia, change in taste, common cold symptoms, diarrhea, or constipation. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of angioedema, signs of infection, signs of depression (suicidal ideation, anxiety, emotional instability, or confusion), signs of low sodium (headache, difficulty focusing, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, seizures, or change in balance), signs of liver problems (dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or jaundice), change in amount of urine passed, urinary retention, shortness of breath, excessive weight gain, swelling of arms or legs, enlarged lymph nodes, severe muscle pain, severe muscle weakness, severe joint pain, severe joint edema, confusion, difficulty focusing, vision changes, change in speech, angina, severe loss of strength and energy, seizures, bruising, bleeding, involuntary eye movements, memory impairment, abnormal gait, change in balance, agitation, irritability, panic attacks, mood changes, or signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin [with or without fever]; red or irritated eyes; or sores in mouth, throat, nose, or eyes) (HCAHPS).
• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.
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More about oxcarbazepine
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- Drug class: dibenzazepine anticonvulsants