Oxcarbazepine: Snapshot

Oxcarbazepine side effects

Oxcarbazepine is a medication that is used to treat certain types of epilepsy and nerve pain. In this article, we will discuss what it does, how you should take it, as well as some important information about pregnancy. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider for more information before taking the medication!

What Is Oxcarbazepine?

Oxcarbazepine

Oxcarbazepine is an anti-seizure medication that’s prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy. It works by minimizing nerve impulses in your brain, which helps control seizures and reduces other abnormal movements (possible side effects).

What Does Oxcarbazepine Treat?

Typically, oxcarbazepine is prescribed to help control seizures in people with epilepsy. However, it may also be prescribed off-label for other conditions such as bipolar disorder, neuropathic pain, and migraines.

What Should I Discuss With My Doctor Before Taking Oxcarbazepine?

If you are thinking about taking oxcarbazepine, you should talk to your healthcare provider first. He or she will likely want to know:

Oxcarbazepine tablet

  • Any medical conditions, including liver or kidney disease.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding.

How Should I Take Oxcarbazepine?

Your doctor will tell you how much oxcarbazepine to take and how often. It’s important to take this medication exactly as prescribed.

What Happens If I Miss A Dose Of Oxcarbazepine?

If you forget to take your dose of oxcarbazepine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose.

NOTE: Do NOT double up on doses.

What Should I Avoid While Taking Oxcarbazepine?

Do not drink alcohol while taking oxcarbazepine as it can increase certain side effects of this medication (such as dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion).

What Happens If I Overdose With Oxcarbazepine?

If an overdose of oxcarbazepine is suspected or happens (even if you do not feel any signs or symptoms), call your doctor right away. You may need to go to the emergency room for treatment.

Important Information I Should Know About Oxcarbazepine

Most people can safely take this medication. Some important things you should know about this anti-seizure medication include:

Suicidal Thoughts

Oxcarbazepine can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If you experience any signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior, call your healthcare provider right away.

Pregnancy-related Concerns

Taking oxcarbazepine during pregnancy can increase the risk for birth defects. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking this medication if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Dizziness

Oxcarbazepine can make you feel sleepy, dizzy, and lightheaded. Be careful when driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

NOTE: You should always speak to your doctor before taking any new medications including herbal supplements and over-the-counter products.

Specific Concerns About Oxcarbazepine And Pregnancy

Yes, there are specific concerns about taking this medication during pregnancy. Some important things to note include:

  • Taking this medication in the first trimester of pregnancy can cause birth defects such as heart and facial defects.
  • If you take this medication for epilepsy in your second or third trimesters, there is a risk that your baby may have problems with breathing, feeding, and/or being very sleepy.
  • There is also a small chance that the baby may develop anemia (a low red blood cell count), leukopenia (low white blood cell count), and/or thrombocytopenia (low platelet count).

NOTE: If you are pregnant and taking oxcarbazepine, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know. He or she can help monitor the health of your baby.

Possible Side Effects Of Oxcarbazepine

Common Side Effects

Some common side effects of oxcarbazepine are:

Oxcarbazepine cover

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of coordination

Sleepiness may get worse over time with this medication. So avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while taking it until you know how it affects your body.

NOTE: Regular seizures can happen to anyone. But they are more common in people with certain medical conditions. Such as a head injury or brain tumor.

Severe Side Effects

Some more severe side effects can occur while taking oxcarbazepine. These include:

  • An allergic reaction, which may cause rash, swelling, difficulty breathing, and/or chest pain
  • A seizure (convulsion)
  • Liver problems
  • Reduced white blood cell count (leukopenia), which can increase your risk for infection
  • Reduced platelet count (thrombocytopenia), which can cause bruising or bleeding more easily

NOTE: You should always speak to your doctor before taking any new medications including herbal supplements and over-the-counter products.

Risks For Taking Oxcarbazepine For Long Periods Of Time

Taking oxcarbazepine for a long period can increase your risk for certain side effects, such as:

  • Developing hyponatremia (too little sodium in the blood)
  • Developing Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a serious skin reaction that causes redness, pain, blistering, and peeling of your skin or mucus membranes)

Medications That May Interact With Oxcarbazepine

Taking certain medications may increase your risk of developing certain side effects while taking oxcarbazepine. These include:

  • Phenytoin ( Dilantin)
  • Carbamazepine ( Tegretol)
  • Valproate ( Depakote)
  • Rifampin ( Rimactane, Rifadin)

How Long Does It Take For Oxcarbazepine To Work?

It may take a few weeks for oxcarbazepine to start working properly. If you are still having seizures after starting this medication, talk to your doctor. He or she may want you to try another seizure medicine first before trying this medication again.

NOTE: You must take the entire course of medications prescribed by your healthcare provider so as not to miss doses and lead to a breakthrough seizure.

Conclusion

Oxcarbazepine is a prescription medication that is used to treat seizures. It is important to know all of the information about this drug before taking it, including if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and what side effects may occur.

Always speak with your doctor before starting any new medications, including herbal supplements and over-the-counter products. It may take a few weeks for this medication to start working properly.

If you are still having seizures after starting this medication, talk to your doctor. He or she may want you to try another seizure medicine first before trying this drug again.

A Word From Mantra Care

Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depressionanxietystressrelationshipOCDLGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.

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