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J Affect Disord. 2002 Dec;72 Suppl 1:S23-34.

Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) in the treatment of bipolar disorders: a review of efficacy and tolerability.

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Department of Psychiatry, Trafford General Hospital, Manchester, UK.


Oxcarbazepine, although structurally similar to carbamazepine, is metabolised very differently. As a consequence, oxcarbazepine's pharmacokinetic profile is comparatively less complex, and a more predictable, linear relationship between oxcarbazepine and blood levels is apparent. Furthermore, hepatic enzyme induction is considerably less with oxcarbazepine. Unlike carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine does not appear to induce its own metabolism, nor is it highly protein bound. These pharmacokinetic and metabolic characteristics raise the expectation that potential for drug interactions and side effects with oxycarbazepine will be less than that reported for carbamazepine. This review compares the pharmacokinetic and metabolic profiles of the two drugs and the available efficacy and safety data of carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine, in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

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