If you have partial seizures, your healthcare provider may recommend oxcarbazepine extended-release. This prescription drug is thought to work by blocking sodium channels that are sensitive to electrical changes in the brain -- this helps prevent the spread of abnormal electrical activity to other areas of the brain. Some off-label (unapproved) uses for oxcarbazepine extended-release include treating diabetic neuropathy, alcohol withdrawal, and bipolar disorder.
An Overview of Uses for Oxcarbazepine Extended-Release
Oxcarbazepine extended-release (Oxtellar XR™) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of partial seizures in adults and children as young as six years old. It is approved for use in combination with other medicines. Oxcarbazepine extended-release belongs to a general group of medicines known as antiepileptic drugs (also called anti-seizure medicines).
Seizures occur when there is a brief abnormal change in the electrical activity of the brain. People can have seizures for many reasons (see Causes of Seizures). In some cases, a seizure is an isolated event that happens due to an identifiable and treatable cause, such as a high fever, low blood sugar levels, or drug withdrawal.
Other times, however, the underlying cause is not treatable, or makes the brain susceptible to recurring seizures. People who have recurring seizures are considered to have epilepsy. Epilepsy is also sometimes called a seizure disorder. For many people with epilepsy, the underlying cause for their seizures is unknown.
There are many different types of seizures (see Types of Seizures). The different seizure types can generally be divided into two main groups. Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain. Partial seizures (also called focal seizures), on the other hand, are limited to one area on one side of the brain. Partial seizures can spread and turn into generalized seizures.
Oxcarbazepine extended-release is approved for the treatment of partial seizures. It is not a cure for epilepsy, but can help reduce the frequency of seizures. As is typical with new seizure medications, oxcarbazepine extended-release is approved for adjunctive treatment, which means it is to be used along with other anti-seizure medicines. In oxcarbazepine extended-release clinical trials, people were taking at least one to three other anti-seizure medicines when they were given oxcarbazepine extended-release.
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