What is this medicine?

OXCARBAZEPINE (ox car BAZ e peen) is used to treat people with epilepsy. It helps prevent partial seizures.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Trileptal

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Asian ancestry
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
  • any unusual or allergic reaction to oxcarbazepine, carbamazepine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. This medicine may be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • carbamazepine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • birth control pills
  • certain medicines for seizures like phenobarbital, phenytoin, valproic acid
  • certain medicines for high blood pressure like felodipine, diltiazem, verapamil
  • cyclosporine

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care provider for regular checks on your progress. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly. This increases the risk of seizures. Wear a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace. Carry an identification card with information about your condition, medications, and doctor or health care provider.

This medicine may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medicine. Contact your health care provider right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.

Rarely, serious skin allergic reactions may occur with this medicine. If you develop a skin rash, redness, itching, peeling skin inside your mouth, swollen glands, or a fever while taking this medicine, contact your health care provider immediately.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control.

The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care provider right away.

Women who become pregnant while using this medicine may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions such as skin rash or itching, hives, swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
  • changes in vision
  • confusion
  • difficulty passing urine or change in the amount of urine
  • infection
  • nausea, vomiting
  • problems with balance, speaking, walking
  • rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • swelling of feet, hands
  • unusual bleeding, bruising
  • unusually weak or tired
  • worsening of mood, thoughts or actions of suicide or dying
  • yellowing of eyes, skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation or diarrhea
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • nervous
  • stomach upset
  • tremors
  • trouble sleeping

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2022 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy