Oxcarbazepine is prescribed either alone or along with other medications to manage certain types of seizures in both adults and children. As an anticonvulsant drug, oxcarbazepine belongs to a class of medications that work by reducing unusual electrical activity within the brain.
Uses and Dosage
Oxcarbazepine can be taken orally as a tablet, extended-release tablet, or suspension (liquid). The tablet and suspension are usually taken twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart, with or without food. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day, on an empty stomach, either an hour before or two hours after a meal. Take oxcarbazepine at the same time each day, following the prescription label instructions diligently. Do not take more or less of the medication than prescribed or take it more frequently than directed.
Before each use, shake the suspension well to ensure that the medication is adequately mixed. The oral dosing syringe that came with the medication should be used to withdraw the appropriate amount of suspension from the bottle. The suspension can be swallowed straight from the syringe or mixed with a small glass of water before consumption. After each use, the syringe should be washed with warm water and allowed to dry thoroughly.
Swallow extended-release tablets whole with water or another liquid and not to split, chew, or crush them.
Typically, a doctor would start patients on a low dose of oxcarbazepine, gradually increasing the dose, but not more often than once every three days.
If switching from another medication to oxcarbazepine, the doctor may gradually decrease the dose of the previous medication while increasing the dose of oxcarbazepine.
Although oxcarbazepine can help control seizures, it cannot cure the condition. Continue taking oxcarbazepine, even if there is an improvement in symptoms. Do not stop taking the medication without consulting a doctor, even if side effects like unusual changes in behavior or mood are experienced. Abruptly stopping oxcarbazepine may exacerbate seizures, and the doctor will likely decrease the dosage gradually.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- fast, repeating eye movements that you cannot control
- stomach pain
- loss of appetite
- changes in the way food tastes
- dry mouth
- weight gain
- shaking of a part of the body that you cannot control; difficulty coordinating movements; falling down
- slowed movements or thoughts; forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and speech problems
- back, arm, or leg pain
- muscle weakness or sudden tightness
- increased sweating
- swelling, redness, irritation, burning, or itching of the vagina
- white vaginal discharge
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- severe headache
- lack of energy
- seizures that last longer or happen more often than in the past
- peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
- sores in mouth or around eyes
- extreme tiredness
- chest pain
- muscle weakness or pain
- sore throat, cough, chills, and other signs of infection
Before taking oxcarbazepine, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies to it, to carbamazepine or eslicarbazepine, or to other anti-seizure medications such as fosphenytoin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, or primidone, or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other complications.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, particularly if you have kidney disease or mineral imbalance, such as low sodium levels in the blood, before using this medication.
This medication can cause dizziness or drowsiness. Consuming alcohol or marijuana can increase dizziness or drowsiness. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or engaging in any activity that requires alertness until you can do it safely.
Younger children may be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, particularly infections.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when necessary. It may harm the fetus. Untreated seizures pose a serious risk to both the mother and the unborn child. Therefore, do not discontinue taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you plan to become pregnant or think you are pregnant, discuss the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy with your doctor.
Since hormonal birth control may be ineffective if taken with this medication, discuss reliable methods of birth control with your doctor.
This medication is excreted in breast milk but is unlikely to cause harm to a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Trileptal is available in the following forms and strengths:
What are the long term effects of taking Trileptal?
There are no known risks connected to the long-term use of Trileptal.
Can Trileptal be used as a mood stabilizer?
Trileptal is an anticonvulsant that is used to treat seizures. It is also sometimes used as a mood stabilizer to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder.