Oxcarbazepine (oxcarbamazepine) is used to treat certain types of fits (partial seizures which usually do not affect the entire body and where the individuals are conscious even during the seizure), either alone or with other anti-seizure medicines.
How it works
Oxcarbazepine belongs to a group of medicines called antiepileptic drugs. It works by stabilising the electrical activity of your brain and controls fits.
Common side effects
Nervousness, Abnormal eye movements, Altered speech, Memory loss, Coordination impaired, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Altered taste, Heartburn, Increased sodium level in blood, Loss of appetite, Stomach pain, Tremor, Vision changes, Weight gain, Constipation, Diarrhoea
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- Do not start or continue oxcarbazepine and consult your doctor if you are allergic to oxcarbazepine, or to any of the other ingredients of this medicine.
- The blood levels of oxcarbazepine will have to be monitored regularly to adjust your dose. Please follow the advice of your doctor as to when to do these tests.
- Inform your doctor immediately yellowing of skin and the whites of the eye, increase in the number of fits, increase in heart rate or if you develop suicidal thoughts.
- Immediately consult your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms unusual tiredness, breathlessness on exertion, paleness, headache, chills, dizziness, frequent infections, mouth ulcers, bleeding from nose or any other part of the body or bruising more easily than normal, skin rashes.
- Oxcarbazepine can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using non hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking oxcarbazepine.
- Do not drive or operate machinery while on treatment with oxcarbazepine as it may make you feel sleepy or dizzy especially when starting treatment or increasing the dose.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Is oxcarbazepine/ Trileptal safe?
Oxcarbazepine is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is oxcarbazepine a narcotic or opiate or a controlled substance or addictive?
Oxcarbazepine is not addictive, hence not a narcotic or a controlled substance. However, it is available only in quantity prescribed by your doctor. It is not an opiate, but a drug that is used to prevent the occurrence of fits.
Q. Is oxcarbazepine like Xanax (alprazolam)?
Xanax (alprazolam) is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, whereas oxcarbazepine is used to prevent the occurrence of fits.
Q. Can I take oxcarbazepine with Lamictal (lamotrigine) or Aleve (naproxen) or Tylenol (paracetamol) or Advil (ibuprofen) or Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or Xanax (alprazolam) or tramadol?
Oxcarbazepine can increase the sedative effects of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or Xanax (alprazolam) or tramadol. Also, tramadol has a propensity to induce fits, which can compromise the effect of oxcarbazepine. Oxcarbazepine and anti-epileptic lamotrigine when used together can increase the risk of side-effects like nausea, somnolence, dizziness and headache. There are no known interactions between oxcarbazepine and Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen) or Tylenol (paracetamol). Always inform your doctor if any of these drugs are required to be taken concomitantly by you.
Q. Does oxcarbazepine get you high?
No, oxcarbazepine does not alter perception, feelings or emotion, and does not get you high.
Q. Does oxcarbazepine cause weight gain?
Oxcarbazepine is not known to cause weight changes.
Q. Does oxcarbazepine cause acne or hair loss?
Yes, acne and hair loss are common side effects of oxcarbazepine.
Q. Does oxcarbazepine make you tired?
Oxcarbazepine can cause unusual tiredness and weakness.
Q. Does oxcarbazepine help with depression?
Oxcarbazepine does not heal depressed mood.
Q. Is oxcarbazepine better than carbamazepine?
Oxcarbazepine is chemically related to carbamazepine. Both are used to treat the same type of seizures. Oxcarbazepine is required in higher doses than carbamazepine. However, there is a lesser risk of liver toxicity and interactions with other concomitant drugs with oxcarbazepine than carbamazepine.
Q. Is oxcarbazepine a benzodiazepine/ MAOI?
Oxcarbazepine is neither a benzodiazepine nor a mono-amine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). It is an anti-epileptic, i.e. it is used to treat fits.