What is oxcarbazepine?

Oxcarbazepine is in a group of drugs called anticonvulsants, or antiepileptic drugs. It works by decreasing nerve impulses that cause seizures.

Oxcarbazepine is used to treat partial seizures in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.

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

Precautions

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to oxcarbazepine or to a similar medicine called carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol).

Before taking oxcarbazepine, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease. If you have any of these conditions you may not be able to use oxcarbazepine, or you may require a dose adjustment or special tests during treatment.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Oxcarbazepine should not be used during pregnancy, but taking the medicine can make birth control pills less effective. Use a non-hormone method of birth control (not birth control pills) to prevent pregnancy while you are taking oxcarbazepine. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Oxcarbazepine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 2 years old.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor’s instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

Oxcarbazepine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Do not drink alcohol while taking oxcarbazepine. Alcohol may increase drowsiness caused by oxcarbazepine. It may also increase the risk of seizures.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of an oxcarbazepine overdose are unknown.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

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

Oxcarbazepine can reduce the sodium in your body to dangerously low levels, which can cause a life-threatening electrolyte imbalance. Contact your doctor right away if you have nausea, vomiting, weakness, thirst, loss of appetite, headache, confusion, hallucinations, muscle pain or weakness, and/or increased or more severe seizures.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all; or
  • increased seizures.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea;
  • problems with speech, balance, or coordination;
  • blurred vision;
  • mental slowness, trouble concentrating;
  • tremors or shaking;
  • dizziness, drowsiness; or
  • skin 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.

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Interactions

Before using oxcarbazepine, tell your doctor about all other seizure medications you are taking, including:

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);
  • phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin); or
  • valproic acid (Depakene).

There are many other medicines that can interact with oxcarbazepine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Other Names

Trileptal and oxcarbazepine

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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