Precautions and Warnings With Oxcarbazepine
It is important to be aware of some precautions and warnings with oxcarbazepine prior to taking the medicine. For example, oxcarbazepine can cause concentration problems, speech problems, and very serious skin reactions in some people. The drug can also potentially interact with certain other medications or increase the risk of low levels of sodium in the blood in some people.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®) if you have:
- Anemia or other blood disorders
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Following are some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking oxcarbazepine:
- Oxcarbazepine can cause low levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia), which can be serious. Let your healthcare provider know if you have possible signs of hyponatremia, such as:
- About 25 percent to 30 percent of people who are allergic to carbamazepine (Epitol®, Equetro™, Tegretol®, Tegretol® XR) are also allergic to oxcarbazepine. Prior to treatment with oxcarbazepine, you should let your healthcare provider know if you are allergic to carbamazepine. You should also let your healthcare provider know if you develop an unexplained rash, hives, itching, or unexplained swelling while taking oxcarbazepine.
- Oxcarbazepine can cause very serious skin reactions. These skin reactions can be life-threatening. Let your healthcare provider know right away if develop an unexplained rash while taking oxcarbazepine.
- As with all seizure medications, oxcarbazepine should not be stopped suddenly.
- Oxcarbazepine can cause concentration problems, speech problems, drowsiness, and problems with coordination. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you develop any of these oxcarbazepine side effects. Also, make sure to see how oxcarbazepine affects you before driving or operating any machinery.
- Oxcarbazepine can cause multiorgan hypersensitivity reactions (allergic-type reactions) that can be life-threatening. It may involve your blood, liver, kidneys, brain, lungs (difficulty or trouble breathing), muscles and joints (swelling or pain), or itching, among other things. Signs of this disorder vary greatly from person to person, but it usually starts with a fever and a rash. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you develop any of these symptoms while taking oxcarbazepine.
- Oxcarbazepine can cause anemia and other blood disorders. Your healthcare provider may check for these problems using blood tests.
- Oxcarbazepine can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Oxcarbazepine).
- Oxcarbazepine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for pregnant women. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy. If it is decided that you will take oxcarbazepine during pregnancy, the level of oxcarbazepine in your blood should be monitored carefully during pregnancy and throughout the postpartum period (see Trileptal and Pregnancy).
- Oxcarbazepine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Trileptal and Breastfeeding).
Early evidence suggests that seizure medications, including oxcarbazepine, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors (see Seizure Medications and Suicide for more information).