Oxcarbazepine: Administration, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions and Storage

It is a drug used to treat complex, partial, and generalized tonic convulsive disorders (epilepsy).

This medicine is not useful against myoclonic or absent convulsions. It can be used alone or with other anticonvulsant medications in adults and children four years of age and older.

Sometimes, medications are used to treat other conditions, so be sure to ask your doctor why you are taking this medication.

The dose of Oxcarbazepine and how it is taken may vary depending on why it is given, the form of medication and whether it is taken alone or with other medications. It is important to follow the exact instructions given by your treating doctor.

Always check the appearance of the capsules with the pharmacist when the prescription is filled to make sure you have given the correct medication.

There is some evidence that oxcarbazepine is a mood stabilizing agent and, therefore, can be used as a complementary therapy for bipolar disorder in patients who have failed or can not tolerate approved treatments.

How to administer Oxcarbazepine?

Take this medicine orally with or without food, as directed by your treating doctor, usually twice a day.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on their weight.

Without consulting your doctor, do not stop taking this medicine. Some conditions (such as seizures) may get worse when this medication is stopped suddenly. Your dose may need to be decreased gradually.

Side effects

Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, nausea / vomiting, stomach / abdominal pain, headache, trouble sleeping or constipation may occur . If any of these effects last or worsen, inform your treating doctor.

A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizures, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression , suicidal thoughts / attempts or other mental / mood problems.

Tell your doctor right away if you notice unusual / sudden changes in your mood, thoughts or behavior, including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts / attempts, thoughts about hurting yourself.

Similarly, if you have any serious side effects, including loss of coordination, changes in vision (such as double vision), rapid / uncontrollable eye movements, tremors, easy bleeding / bruising, unusual tiredness.

An allergic reaction to this medication is rare. But if it does: rash, itching, swelling of the body or face, tongue and throat, severe dizziness and difficulty breathing, stop using it.

Although not common, anaphylaxis may occur . Due to their structural similarities with carbamazepine, there is approximately 25-30% chance of cross-reactivity between the two medications.

Precautions

This medicine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, use machinery, or perform activities that require alertness until you are sure you can perform those activities safely. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages when you are in treatment.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly necessary. It could be harmful to the fetus in the gestation period.

However, since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, do not stop taking this medication unless your doctor tells you to.

If you are planning a pregnancy, become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, talk to your doctor immediately about the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy.

Since hormonal birth control may not work if taken with this medication.

Interactions

This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptive control, such as pills, patch or ring. This could cause pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you must use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication.

It is marketed in some countries as Trileptal by Novartis laboratories and is normally available as a generic medicine. There is also a prolonged release formulation marketed by Supernus Pharmaceuticals as Oxtellar XR.

Storage

You should keep the medicine in places with an ambient temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Try to place it out of the reach of children and pets.