Oxcarbazepine (By mouth)


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

Treats seizures caused by epilepsy.

Brand Name(s)


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to oxcarbazepine.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • 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. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use 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  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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 away from children and 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 are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.

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 without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping 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 lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • 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 need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to 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 06/12/2013

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

Average rating (0)