Nervous System Home > Oxcarbazepine Extended-Release

How Does It Work?

Seizures are the result of brief abnormal activity in the brain's electrical system. It is not known exactly how oxcarbazepine extended-release works for treating seizures. Studies suggest that it may work by blocking brain sodium channels that are sensitive to electrical changes in the brain. By blocking sodium channels in the brain, oxcarbazepine extended-release helps stabilize neurons and prevents them from firing rapidly. This helps prevent the spread of abnormal electrical activity to other areas of the brain.
This medicine contains the extended-release, once-daily form of oxcarbazepine. Regular-release oxcarbazepine is the active ingredient in another anti-seizure medication known as Trileptal.

When and How to Take This Medicine

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with oxcarbazepine extended-release include the following:
  • Oxcarbazepine extended-release comes in the form of a tablet. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
  • You should take your dose on an empty stomach, with water or another liquid, at least one hour before or two hours after a meal.
  • This medication can be taken any time of the day. However, it should be taken at the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream. 
  • Oxcarbazepine extended-release must be swallowed whole. Do not split, crush, cut, or chew the tablets.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. This medication will not work if you stop taking it.

Dosing Information for Oxcarbazepine Extended-Release

The dose of oxcarbazepine extended-release your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
  • Your age
  • Your weight (in children)
  • How well your seizures are controlled
  • Other medications you are taking
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Oxcarbazepine Extended-Release Dosage for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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