Oxcarbazepine

Oxcarbazepine
(ox-kar-BAY-zeh-peen)

Oxtellar XR, Trileptal

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Oxcarbazepine is used to treat seizure disorders (epilepsy). It is sometimes used as a side effect medication to counterbalance side effects associated with other mood disorder medication.

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Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: calcium channel blockers (e.g., verapamil, felodipine), cyclosporine, other seizure control medication (e.g., carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, valproic acid), a certain combination HIV medication (elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir).

This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.

Tell your doctor if you take any drugs that make you drowsy, such as: medicine for sleep, sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), narcotic pain relievers (e.g., hydrocodone, codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine, or tricyclics such as amitriptyline), muscle relaxants, antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

Oxcarbazepine is very similar to eslicarbazepine. Do not use medications containing eslicarbazepine while using oxcarbazepine.

Common side effects of Oxcarbazepine include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Acne, dry mouth
  • Constipation

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 immediately 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: double vision, change in vision, involuntary eye movements, difficulty speaking, difficulty concentrating, loss of coordination, trouble walking (abnormal gait), uncontrolled muscle movements (tremor), dulled sense of touch, easy bleeding/bruising, chest pain, persistent sore throat, stomach/abdominal pain, bloody stool, dark urine, change in amount of urine, yellowing of eyes/skin.

Oxcarbazepine may rarely cause very serious (possibly fatal) skin reactions. Some people in certain ethnic groups (including people of Asian/South Asian descent) are at greater risk. Your doctor may order a blood test to measure your risk before prescribing this medication. If the blood test shows you are at greater risk, discuss the risks and benefits of oxcarbazepine and other treatment choices with your doctor. Such skin reactions have developed mostly within the first few months of treatment. Get medical help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: skin rash/blisters/peeling, itching, or swelling. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

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