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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Anticonvulsant Trileptal , Oxcarbazepine Children, Adult

Oxcarbazepine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Oxcarbazepine cause?

Like all medicines, this medication may cause some possible side effects but not everyone experiences them. Consult your healthcare professionals if any of the side effects lasts more than a few days, or become severe and bothersome.

The common side effects of oxcarbazepine include:

  • Dizziness, feeling lightheaded, feeling clumsy, unsteady movements
    • Get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position
  • Drowsiness
    • Avoid driving, operating machinery or engaging in strenuous physical activities
    • Avoid taking over-the-counter medications (such as cold or allergy medications) that could also add on to the drowsiness, refer to a healthcare professional if needed
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
        • Drink more water
        • Taking more high-fibre foods and frequent exercise can help with constipation
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach upset
    • Take the medicine with or after food to reduce nausea and vomiting
    • Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells
  • Headache, back pain
    • Use of paracetamol can help to relieve headache or back pain

If the following serious side effects happen, you should go to the emergency department:

  • Red skin rash which spreads quickly and may blister or peel off
  • Persistent nausea, vomiting, confusion, tiredness
  • Fever, chills, sore throat, mouth ulcers or sores
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Dark coloured urine or light-coloured stools, yellowing of your eyes or skin, severe loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting that does not go away
  • Feelings of confusion or unusual thoughts

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following and requires an emergency department visit:

  • Swollen face / eyes / lips / tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Before taking Oxcarbazepine , what precautions must I follow?

​Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) or toxic epidermal necrolysis (TENS) are rare and serious skin reactions which can happen after using particular medications. Symptoms include face swelling, blisters on skin, skin rashes that spreads throughout the body within hours to days after taking the medication. It usually occurs within the first few months (monitor closely for the first 3 months) of treatment. Those who have been taking oxcarbazepine for more than 3 months without developing skin reactions are at low risk of SJS or TEN. As these skin reactions are rapidly progressing, caregivers should bring patient to emergency department if patient shows first sign of rash.

Inform your healthcare professionals if you have the following medical conditions before starting on oxcarbazepine:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Heart problems
  • Blood-related diseases
  • Drug allergies to oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine

For women: Inform your healthcare professionals if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

Consult your healthcare professional immediately if your seizures get worse or become different after you start on this medication.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Oxcarbazepine ?

​Inform your healthcare professional that you are on oxcarbazepine.

Oxcarbazepine may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, injections, implants or intrauterine devices). Discuss with your healthcare professionals regarding birth control while on oxcarbazepine.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.

Please consult your healthcare professionals before using any other medications, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal products.

Oxcarbazepine - Additional Information

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