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Oxcarbazepine

Oxcarbazepine

What is oxcarbazepine?

Oxcarbazepine is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral extended-release tablet, immediate-release tablet, and suspension.

Oxcarbazepine oral tablet is available as the brand-name drugs Trileptal and Oxtellar XR. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.

The immediate-release tablet may be used alone or as part of a combination therapy with other medications to treat seizures. The extended-release tablet is always used with other medications.

Uses

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using oxcarbazepine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Children's dosage is also based on weight. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Side Effects

Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, headache, trouble sleeping, or constipation may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizure, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: loss of coordination, vision changes (such as double vision), rapid/uncontrollable eye movements, shaking (tremor), easy bleeding/bruising, unusual tiredness.

How should this medicine be used?

Oxcarbazepine comes as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. The tablet and suspension are usually taken every 12 hours (twice a day) with or without food. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Take oxcarbazepine at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take oxcarbazepine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the suspension well right before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use the oral dosing syringe that came with the medication to withdraw the right amount of suspension from the bottle. You can swallow the suspension straight from the syringe or you can mix it with a small glass of water and swallow the mixture. Wash the syringe with warm water and allow it to dry thoroughly after use.

How it works

Oxcarbazepine belongs to a class of drugs called antiepileptic medications. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It isn’t known exactly how this drug works to stop seizures. It may block sodium channels to stop seizures from spreading to the rest of the brain. It may also act on potassium and calcium in the brain to stop seizures.

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