Oxcarbazepine for Epilepsy
Oxcarbazepine comes in tablet form.
How It Works
Oxcarbazepine prevents seizures by calming the electrical activity in the brain. It works in a fashion similar to carbamazepine (for example, Tegretol), which for many years has been used to treat epilepsy.
Why It Is Used
Oxcarbazepine may be used to treat partial seizures in adults and children. In adults, it may be used by itself or combined with another antiepileptic medicine.
How Well It Works
Initial studies indicate that oxcarbazepine is effective in adults and children when it is added to other antiepileptic medicines.1
Also, when used alone, oxcarbazepine can help control partial seizures.2
The most common side effects of oxcarbazepine include:
In rare cases, oxcarbazepine may cause a serious skin rash. Contact your doctor if you develop a rash while taking oxcarbazepine.
Less commonly, oxcarbazepine may lower sodium levels in the blood or cause problems with double vision, speech, concentration, coordination, and walking.
People who have had a serious allergic reaction to carbamazepine are more likely to have an adverse reaction to oxcarbazepine too.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on antiepileptic medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take antiepileptic medicine should be watched closely for warning signs of suicide. People who take antiepileptic medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
It may take time and careful, controlled adjustments by you and your doctor to find the combination, schedule, and dosing of medicine to best manage your epilepsy. The goal is to prevent seizures while causing as few side effects as possible. After you and your doctor figure out the medicine program that works best for you, make sure to follow your program exactly as prescribed.
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