March 5, 2015

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What side effects are possible with Trileptal?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • abdominal pain (mild)
  • changes in taste sensation
  • cough
  • dizziness, drowsiness, or fatigue
  • double vision or other vision changes
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • nausea or vomiting
  • problems with walking, speech, or coordination
  • trembling
  • trouble sleeping
  • skin rash (if there is no blistering or peeling and the rash is not covering a large area)

Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • abdominal pain (moderate to severe)
  • nervousness, confusion, or feeling unusually emotional
  • signs of liver problems (e.g., pale stools, dark urine, abdominal pain, itchy skin, yellow eyes or skin, or decreased appetite)
  • swelling of legs or feet

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • chest pain
  • fast, slow or irregular heartbeat
  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., hives, swelling of the face or throat, or difficulty breathing)
  • signs of a serious skin rash (e.g., blistering or peeling of skin or a rash covering a large area of the body)
  • signs of a stroke (e.g., sudden confusion, loss of speech, severe headache, dizziness, and weakness)
  • signs of bleeding (e.g., easy bruising, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, vomiting blood, blood in the urine, dark tarry stools)
  • signs of very low sodium levels in the blood (e.g., nausea, headache, weakness, sluggishness, confusion, or a general "ill" feeling)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for Trileptal?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Allergic reactions: Oxcarbazepine can cause serious skin reactions. If you have symptoms of a serious skin reaction, such as blistering or peeling of the skin, stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention. About 25% to 30% of people who are allergic to the epilepsy medication carbamazepine will also be allergic to oxcarbazepine. If you have had an allergic reaction to carbamazepine, talk to your doctor before taking oxcarbazepine.

Laboratory tests: Oxcarbazepine may cause low sodium levels. Get immediate medical attention if you notice the symptoms of very low sodium, such as nausea, headache, weakness, sluggishness, confusion, or a general feeling of being unwell. This medication may also affect the results of thyroid tests.

Medical conditions: People who have heart conditions, kidney disease, or liver disease should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Stopping medication: If this medication is stopped abruptly, the risk of seizures may increase. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how this medication should be safely stopped.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Oxcarbazepine can also contribute to folic acid deficiency. Talk to your doctor about folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy.

Breast-feeding: Women should not breast-feed while taking this medication.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under 6 years of age.

Seniors: Seniors may require lower doses of this medication. Do not change the way you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

What other drugs could interact with Trileptal?

There may be an interaction between oxcarbazepine and any of the following:

  • birth control pills
  • carbamazepine
  • diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide)
  • dronedarone
  • everolimus
  • exemestane
  • felodipine
  • imatinib
  • nilotinib
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin
  • praziquantel
  • tadalafil
  • valproic acid
  • verapamil

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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