What is Trileptal?

Trileptal (oxcarbazepine) is an anticonvulsant that works in the brain to prevent seizures.

Trileptal is used to treat partial seizures in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.

Trileptal is also used to treat generalized tonic-clonic seizures in adults and children who are at least 6 years old.

Generalized tonic-clonic seizures are a type of seizure that involves muscle stiffness, convulsions (jerking and twitching movements), and loss of consciousness.

Trileptal

Health Benefits

Trileptal has been shown to be effective in reducing seizures in people with epilepsy.

A single-dose, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showed that Trileptal was efficacious in reducing seizure frequency in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed partial epilepsy.

In another study, Trileptal was shown to be as effective as carbamazepine (Tegretol) in the treatment of partial seizures.

Trileptal has also been shown to be effective in treating bipolar disorder.

A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that Trileptal was significantly more effective than placebo in reducing symptoms of mania in people with bipolar disorder.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Trileptal include:

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, tremor, and skin rash.

Less common side effects of Trileptal include:

depression, anxiety, sleep problems (insomnia), weight changes, decreased appetite, hair loss, and menstrual changes.

rare side effects of Trileptal include: serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), angioedema (swelling beneath the skin), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a potentially life-threatening skin reaction), and aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain).

If you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor immediately:

rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

You should not take Trileptal if you are allergic to oxcarbazepine or if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to carbamazepine (Tegretol).

Do not take Trileptal if you are pregnant unless your doctor has told you to. Taking Trileptal during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects. If you become pregnant while taking Trileptal, stop taking the medication and call your doctor immediately.

Do not take Trileptal if you are breastfeeding. Trileptal passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. If you are breastfeeding, you should not take Trileptal.

Do not take Trileptal if you have a history of low blood sodium levels (hyponatremia).

Dosage

The recommended starting dose of Trileptal for adults with partial seizures is 300 mg twice daily.

The recommended starting dose for children 2 to 16 years of age with partial seizures is 10 mg/kg/day divided into two doses.

The maximum recommended dose for children 2 to 16 years of age is 60 mg/kg/day.

The recommended starting dose of Trileptal for adults with generalized tonic-clonic seizures is 600 mg once daily.

The maximum recommended dose of Trileptal for adults with generalized tonic-clonic seizures is 1,200 mg/day.

Interactions

Trileptal may interact with other seizure medications, birth control pills, blood thinners, cancer chemotherapy medications, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV/AIDS medications, or antibiotics.

Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use.

Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Examples of medications that may interact with Trileptal include:

carbamazepine (Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), topiramate (Topamax), birth control pills, blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), cancer chemotherapy medications, heart or blood pressure medications such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR, Tiazac) or verapamil (Calan, Covera HS, Isoptin SR, Verelan), HIV/AIDS medications such as atazanavir (Reyataz) or ritonavir (Norvir), or antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) or erythromycin (E-Mycin, Eryc, Ery-Tab, PCE).

Trileptal may also interact with grapefruit juice.

How does it work?

Trileptal belongs to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing nerve impulses that cause seizures.

Pharmacokinetics

Trileptal is rapidly and completely absorbed after oral administration. It is widely distributed in the body and crosses the blood-brain barrier.

The half-life of Trileptal is 10-16 hours.