Oxcarbazepine (By mouth)


Oxcarbazepine (ox-kar-BAZ-e-peen)

Treats seizures caused by epilepsy.

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Take the extended-release tablet on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
  • You may take the oral liquid and regular tablet with or without food.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Shake the oral liquid well just before you use it. You can take the medicine directly from the oral syringe, or you can mix the medicine in a glass with a small amount of water. If you mix the medicine, drink all of the mixture right away.
  • Check with your doctor before you stop taking any medicine to control your seizures. If you will be switching to oxcarbazepine only, your doctor may want to gradually reduce the amount of the other medicine you are taking for 3 to 6 weeks before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the oral liquid in the original container. Use the liquid within 7 weeks after you open the bottle. Throw away any unused liquid.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use any other medicines to control seizures, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®), or valproic acid (Depakote®). Tell your doctor if you also use felodipine (Plendil®), verapamil (Calan®, Covera®, Isoptin®), or birth control pills.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, depression, or low sodium in the blood. Also tell him if you have had an allergic reaction to carbamazepine (Tegretol®).
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) may occur. Check with your doctor right away if you have confusion, decreased urine output, dizziness, a fast or uneven heartbeat, a headache, muscle pain or cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, or swelling of the face, ankles, or hands.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop any unusual thoughts or behaviors while taking this medicine. Examples are worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts, or unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, lightheaded, unsteady, or less alert. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely. Stopping the medicine suddenly may cause your seizures to return or to occur more often.
  • This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions that affect several organs in the body (such as liver, kidneys). Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of the following symptoms: fever, dark-colored urine, headache, rash, itching, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Birth control pills may not work as well while you are using this medicine. Use another form of birth control together with your pills to prevent pregnancy.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, cloudy urine, difficult or painful urination
  • Chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Confusion, weakness, muscle twitching
  • Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat
  • Feeling depressed, irritable, nervous, restless
  • Fever with rash, swollen glands in your neck
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
  • Tremors
  • Trouble walking, speaking, or controlling body movements
  • Unusual behavior or thoughts of hurting oneself
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Double vision, blurred vision, or any other vision changes
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Sleepiness, unusual drowsiness, tiredness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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