Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine) is one of a group of medicines called anticonvulsants or antiepileptics (medicines to treat epilepsy). Antiepileptic medicines such as Trileptal are the standard treatment for epilepsy.
Why have I been prescribed Trileptal?
- Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine) is one of a group of medicines called anticonvulsants or antiepileptics (medicines to treat epilepsy).
- Antiepileptic medicines such as Trileptal are the standard treatment for epilepsy.
How does it work?
Trileptal works by keeping the brain’s “overexcitable” nerve cells under control, thereby reducing the frequency of such seizures.
When and how do I take it?
- Take your medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist advises you.
- Trileptal should be taken twice a day, every day, at about the same time of day, unless the doctor tells you otherwise.
- Taking the tablets at the same time each day will have the best effect on controlling epilepsy. It will also help you to remember when to take the tablet(s).
- Swallow the tablets with a little water. If necessary, the tablets can be broken in half to help swallow them.
What’s the dose?
The usual starting dose of Trileptal for adults (including elderly patients) is 600 mg per day. Take one 300 mg tablet twice daily or two 150 mg tablets twice daily. This dosage may be gradually increased if necessary until the best results are obtained.
Maintenance doses are usually between 600 and 2400 mg per day. The dosage is the same if Trileptal is being taken with another antiepileptic.
The starting dose in patients with kidney disease (with impaired renal function) is half the usual starting dose.
Dose for children
- The dosage for children depends on their weight. The starting dose is 8–10 mg/kg bodyweight per day given in two divided doses.
- For example, a 30-kg child would start treatment with one 150 mg tablet twice daily.
- If necessary, this dose may be gradually increased until the best results are obtained.
- A usual maintenance dose for a child is 30 mg/kg bodyweight per day.
- The maximum dose for a child is 46 mg per kg bodyweight per day.
Could it interact with other tablets?
Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines you are taking or have recently taken, including any you have bought without a prescription.
This applies especially to:
- Oral contraceptives (the birth-control pill)
- Other antiepileptic medicines (e.g. carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin).
- Felodipine (type of medicine used to treat high blood pressure).
- Medicines which reduce the level of sodium in your blood, e.g. diuretics (used to help the kidneys get rid of salt and water by increasing the amount of urine produced).
- Lithium (medicine used to treat mood swings and some types of depression).
Herbal preparations should only be taken after discussing with your doctor.
What are the possible risks or side-effects?
Like most medicines, besides the beneficial effects, Trileptal can have side effects. Some effects could be serious:
Tell your doctor immediately or go to the emergency department at your nearest hospital if any of the following side effects occur:
- Swelling of the lips, face or neck, accompanied by difficulty in breathing, speaking or swallowing (signs of angioedema) or other signs of hypersensitivity reactions such as skin rash, fever, and pain in the joints.
- Severe blistering of the skin and/or mucous membranes of the lips, eyes, mouth, nasal passages or genitals (signs of serious allergic reaction).
- Fever, sore throat, ulcers in the mouth, unexplained bruising, reddish or purplish patches, or unexplained blotches on the skin (signs of decrease in the number of blood platelets or decrease in the number of white blood cells).
- Red blotchy rash mainly on face which may be accompanied by fatigue, fever, nausea, loss of appetite (signs of systemic lupus erythematosus).
- Lethargy, confusion, muscular twitching or significant worsening of convulsions (symptoms that may be linked to low sodium levels in the blood).
- Flu-like symptoms with jaundice (signs of hepatitis).
- Severe upper abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite (signs of pancreatitis).
The above are signs of very rare, but potentially serious side effects that may require urgent medical treatment. The doctor will also decide whether Trileptal has to be stopped immediately and how to continue further medical care.
If any of the following side effects occur, tell your doctor as soon as possible since they may require medical attention.
Common (between 1 and 10 in every 100 people):
- problems with coordination
- involuntary movement of the eyes
- feeling of anxiety and nervousness
- feeling of depression
Very rare (less than 1 in every 10,000 people):
- irregular heart beats or very fast or slow heart rate
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following side effects and if they worry you: Very common (10 or more in every 100 people):
- double vision
- memory disturbances
- impaired concentration
- blurred vision
- abdominal pain
- hair loss
- disturbance of balance
Can I drink alcohol while taking it?
- Alcohol may increase the sedative effects of Trileptal.
- Avoid alcohol as much as possible and ask your doctor for advice.
What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?
- It is important to control epileptic seizures during pregnancy. However, there may be a risk to your baby if you take antiepileptic medicines during pregnancy.
- Your doctor will tell you the benefits and potential risks involved and help you to decide whether you should take Trileptal.
- Trileptal should not be used during breast-feeding.
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.