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Drugs and diseases reference index

Drugs reference index «oxcarbazepine»


oxcarbazepine (Oral route)


Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Trileptal

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet
  • Suspension

Therapeutic Class: Anticonvulsant

Chemical Class: Dibenzazepine Carboxamide

Uses For oxcarbazepine

Oxcarbazepine is used in the treatment of epilepsy to control partial seizures. oxcarbazepine cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to take it .

oxcarbazepine is available only with your doctor's prescription .

Before Using oxcarbazepine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For oxcarbazepine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to oxcarbazepine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of oxcarbazepine in children 2 years of age and older .


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of oxcarbazepine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving oxcarbazepine .


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Using oxcarbazepine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Selegiline

Using oxcarbazepine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Tolvaptan

Using oxcarbazepine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Carbamazepine
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Etonogestrel
  • Felodipine
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Ginkgo
  • Lamotrigine
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Mestranol
  • Norelgestromin
  • Norethindrone
  • Norgestrel
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Simvastatin
  • Valproic Acid
  • Verapamil

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of oxcarbazepine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) or
  • Prior hypersensitivity reaction to carbamazepine—May make these conditions worse .
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body .

Proper Use of oxcarbazepine

Take oxcarbazepine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it, and do not take it more or less often than your doctor ordered .

For patients taking the oral suspension form of oxcarbazepine :

  • Shake the bottle well before measuring the dose.
  • Use the oral dosing syringe supplied to measure each dose accurately.
  • The dose of medicine can be mixed in a small glass of water just before taking it or you may swallow it directly from the syringe.
  • After each use, close the bottle and rinse the syringe with warm water and allow it to dry completely before the next use.

Do not stop taking oxcarbazepine without first checking with your doctor. Stopping the medicine suddenly may cause your seizures to return or to occur more often. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount of oxcarbazepine you are taking before stopping it completely .


The dose of oxcarbazepine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of oxcarbazepine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (oral suspension and tablets):
    • For epilepsy:
      • Adults and teenagers 17 years of age and older—At first, 300 milligrams (mg) two times a day. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 2400 mg a day.
      • Children 2 to 16 years of age—Dose is based on body weight. The usual dose is 8 to 10 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (3.7 to 4.5 mg per pound) of body weight per day, divided into two doses. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed.
      • Children up to 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of oxcarbazepine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using oxcarbazepine

Your doctor will check your progress at regular visits. This is to make sure the medicine is working for you and to allow the dosage to be changed if needed. If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor .

oxcarbazepine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop using oxcarbazepine and call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or tongue while you are using oxcarbazepine .

Tell your doctor right away if a skin reaction occurs while you are taking oxcarbazepine. There have been serious skin reactions associated with oxcarbazepine .

If you develop a fever along with a rash or swollen glands, contact your doctor right away .

oxcarbazepine may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to oxcarbazepine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert .

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor .

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. oxcarbazepine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicines for hay fever, allergies or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; and other medicines for seizures .

Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) containing estrogen or progestin, contraceptive progestin injections (e.g., Depo-Provera®), and contraceptive implant forms of progestin (e.g., Norplant®) may not work properly if you take them while you are taking oxcarbazepine. Unplanned pregnancies may occur. You should use a different or additional means of birth control while you are taking oxcarbazepine. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor .

oxcarbazepine Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Change in vision
  • change in walking or balance
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • cough, fever, sneezing, or sore throat
  • crying
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • false sense of well-being
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • mental depression
  • sensation of spinning
  • uncontrolled back-and-forth and/or rolling eye movements
Less common
  • Agitation
  • awkwardness
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • bruising
  • confusion
  • congestion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • decreased urination
  • difficulty with focusing eyes
  • disorientation
  • faintness or light-headedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • frequent falls
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • general feeling of illness
  • headache
  • hoarseness
  • increased thirst
  • itching of the vagina, with or without white vaginal discharge
  • loss of consciousness
  • memory loss
  • muscle cramps
  • pain or burning while urinating
  • pain or tenderness around eyes or cheekbones
  • poor control in body movements—for example, when reaching or stepping
  • problems with coordination
  • shaking or trembling of arms, legs, hands, and feet
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • tightness in chest
  • trouble with walking
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual feelings
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • wheezing
  • Anxiety
  • bleeding or crusting sores on lips
  • burning feeling in chest or stomach
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • decreased response to stimulation
  • hives or itching
  • irritability
  • joint pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • nervousness
  • purple spots on skin
  • rectal bleeding
  • redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin
  • restlessness
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips
  • stomach upset
  • swelling of legs
  • swollen glands

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Abdominal pain
  • burning feeling in chest or stomach
  • nausea and vomiting
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Less common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • acne
  • back pain
  • belching
  • bloody nose
  • blurred vision
  • change in your sense of taste
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in speaking
  • dryness of mouth
  • feeling of warmth and redness of face, neck, arms, and occasionally chest
  • heartburn
  • increased sweating
  • increased urination
  • nervousness
  • trouble with sleeping

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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  • Oxcarbazepine Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Oxcarbazepine Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Oxcarbazepine Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Oxcarbazepine MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Trileptal Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Trileptal Consumer Overview

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