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Oxcarbazepine (By mouth)

Oxcarbazepine (ox-kar-BAZ-e-peen)

Treats seizures.

Brand Name(s):

Oxtellar XR, Trileptal

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to oxcarbazepine or eslicarbazepine acetate.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Extended-release tablet: Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Oral liquid: Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake well just before you measure a dose. Swallow the medicine directly, or mix it in a glass with a small amount of water and drink all of the mixture right away.
  • Food:
    • Take the extended-release tablet on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
    • You may take the oral liquid or regular tablet with or without food.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the oral liquid in the original container and use within 7 weeks after you first open the bottle. Throw away any unused liquid.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how oxcarbazepine works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Rifampin
    • Birth control pills (including ethinyl estradiol, levonorgestrel)
    • Calcium channel blocker medicine (including felodipine, verapamil)
    • Other medicines to control seizures (including carbamazepine, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, valproic acid)
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or a history of depression or mental health problems. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to carbamazepine or tartrazine.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Low sodium levels in the blood
    • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which may damage organs including the liver, kidney, or heart
    • Serious skin reactions
    • Changes in mood or behavior, including thoughts or attempts of suicide
    • New or worsening seizures
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely. The seizures might become more frequent if you suddenly stop using this medicine.
  • Birth control that uses hormones may not work as well while you are using this medicine. Use a different type of birth control if you need to. Talk with your doctor if you have questions.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Confusion, weakness, muscle twitching
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, skin rash, or swollen glands in your armpits, neck, or groin
  • Unusual thoughts or behaviors, thoughts of hurting yourself, or feeling depressed, irritable, nervous, restless
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Worsening of seizures

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, headache
  • Trouble concentrating or speaking, tiredness, clumsiness, trouble walking
  • Vision changes, double vision

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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