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Oxcarbazepine (By mouth)

Treats seizures.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Oxcarbazepine is used alone or together with other medicines in the treatment of epilepsy to control partial seizures. It works in the brain to prevent seizures. However, this medicine will not cure epilepsy and will only control seizures for as long as you continue to take it. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription… Read more
Brand names include
Oxtellar XR, Trileptal
Drug classes About this
Anticonvulsant

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Oxcarbazepine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder

Some studies have suggested that oxcarbazepine, an anti‐convulsant, may have a role in preventing episode recurrence in bipolar affective disorder. This systematic review investigated the efficacy and acceptability of oxcarbazepine compared to placebo and other agents in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. Two randomised controlled trials were found that met the methodological inclusion criteria. However, in both cases, data were reported with insufficient clarity to be confidently extracted for inclusion in a meta‐analysis. Currently, there is insufficient evidence on which to base any recommendations on the use of oxcarbazepine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar illness, either in monotherapy or as an adjunctive treatment. There is need for good quality randomised controlled trials examining the efficacy and acceptability of oxcarbazepine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.

Oxcarbazepine versus carbamazepine monotherapy for partial onset seizures

Carbamazepine is the most commonly used drug to treat partial epileptic seizures. Oxcarbazepine is a newer drug that was developed with the intention to be as effective as carbamazepine but to cause fewer side effects. In this systematic review, we summarise three studies in which oxcarbazepine and carbamazepine treatment were compared directly. We found that both drugs appear to be equally effective and to cause side effects equally often. Significantly fewer patients on carbamazepine developed nausea or vomiting during treatment.

Oxcarbazepine versus phenytoin monotherapy for epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder where recurrent seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges from the brain. Most seizures can be controlled by a single antiepileptic drug. Worldwide, phenytoin is a commonly used antiepileptic drug and oxcarbazepine is one of a newer generation of antiepileptic drugs. The review found that the new drug, oxcarbazepine, when used as a single treatment, is less likely than phenytoin to be withdrawn for reasons of efficacy (seizure control) or tolerability (adverse effects) for participants with partial epilepsy. There is no evidence of a difference between withdrawal rates of the two drugs for participants with generalised seizures. There is also no evidence of a difference between the two drugs in terms of seizure recurrence or remission for both partial and generalised epilepsy, however the design of the studies included in this review may have influenced these seizure and remission outcomes.

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Summaries for consumers

Oxcarbazepine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder

Some studies have suggested that oxcarbazepine, an anti‐convulsant, may have a role in preventing episode recurrence in bipolar affective disorder. This systematic review investigated the efficacy and acceptability of oxcarbazepine compared to placebo and other agents in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. Two randomised controlled trials were found that met the methodological inclusion criteria. However, in both cases, data were reported with insufficient clarity to be confidently extracted for inclusion in a meta‐analysis. Currently, there is insufficient evidence on which to base any recommendations on the use of oxcarbazepine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar illness, either in monotherapy or as an adjunctive treatment. There is need for good quality randomised controlled trials examining the efficacy and acceptability of oxcarbazepine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.

Oxcarbazepine versus carbamazepine monotherapy for partial onset seizures

Carbamazepine is the most commonly used drug to treat partial epileptic seizures. Oxcarbazepine is a newer drug that was developed with the intention to be as effective as carbamazepine but to cause fewer side effects. In this systematic review, we summarise three studies in which oxcarbazepine and carbamazepine treatment were compared directly. We found that both drugs appear to be equally effective and to cause side effects equally often. Significantly fewer patients on carbamazepine developed nausea or vomiting during treatment.

Oxcarbazepine versus phenytoin monotherapy for epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder where recurrent seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges from the brain. Most seizures can be controlled by a single antiepileptic drug. Worldwide, phenytoin is a commonly used antiepileptic drug and oxcarbazepine is one of a newer generation of antiepileptic drugs. The review found that the new drug, oxcarbazepine, when used as a single treatment, is less likely than phenytoin to be withdrawn for reasons of efficacy (seizure control) or tolerability (adverse effects) for participants with partial epilepsy. There is no evidence of a difference between withdrawal rates of the two drugs for participants with generalised seizures. There is also no evidence of a difference between the two drugs in terms of seizure recurrence or remission for both partial and generalised epilepsy, however the design of the studies included in this review may have influenced these seizure and remission outcomes.

See all (19)

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