Trileptal (oxcarbazepine) is an an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medicine. It works by decreasing nerve impulses that cause seizures and pain. Trileptal is used either alone or with other medicines to treat partial seizures.
Trileptal is used as a single medicine in adults and children who are at least 4 years old. It is used with other medicines in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using oxcarbazepine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Children's dosage is also based on weight. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions (such as seizures) may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Tell your doctor if your seizures worsen.
Do not stop using Trileptal suddenly.
Seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of a serious drug reaction: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, unusual bruising or bleeding, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of low sodium levels in your body, such as nausea, confusion, severe weakness, muscle pain, or increased seizures.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking seizure medicine. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Before taking oxcarbazepine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to carbamazepine or eslicarbazepine; or to other anti-seizure medications (such as fosphenytoin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, mineral imbalance (low level of sodium in the blood).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Younger children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially infections.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. 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 directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor right away the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy. Since hormonal birth control may not work if taken with this medication (see also Drug Interactions section), discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, headache, trouble sleeping, or constipation may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
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 right away 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: loss of coordination, vision changes (such as double vision), rapid/uncontrollable eye movements, shaking (tremor), easy bleeding/bruising, unusual tiredness.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: signs of infection (such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat that doesn't go away, cough), symptoms of low sodium level (severe nausea, extreme drowsiness, confusion, seizures).
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 you start this medication. If the blood test shows you are at greater risk, your doctor should discuss the risks and benefits of oxcarbazepine and other treatment choices with you. Such skin reactions have developed mostly within the first few months of treatment. Get medical help right away if you develop symptoms of a serious skin reaction such as skin rash/blisters/peeling, itching, or swelling. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Shake the bottle well before each use. The suspension comes with a special oral syringe that will allow you to carefully measure the dose needed. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. The dose may be mixed in a small glass of water before it is swallowed, or you can take the medicine directly from the syringe. Be sure to take the entire dose. You can take this medicine with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
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.
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 should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional 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 professional.
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 professional right away.