Trileptal is a prescription drug used to treat seizures and epileptic conditions in adults and children above 2 years. It belongs to a group of drug known as anticonvulsants or antiepileptic which reduce the intensity of certain nerve impulses that lead to seizures. Trileptal is the brand name for the generic drug oxcarbazepine, therefore it is available in various strengths unlike the generic type, but more expensive. It was approved as an antiepileptic by the FDA in 2000. This drug is presented as an oral extended-release tablet, immediate-release tablet and suspension. The extended-release tablet can be used with other medications while the immediate-release may be used alone or in combination with other medications as a therapy to treat seizures.
Trileptal can be used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat and manage seizures. Seizures occur when electric impulses across the brain erupt in an uncontrollable and sudden manner. Trileptal is able to control and balance such brain impulses, blocking any sudden and shocking effect. The exact mode of operation of this drug is not known. Scientists predict that it may block sodium channels to stop the seizure from spreading to other brain parts. They also believe it is possible that this drug blocks calcium and potassium in the brain to make sure seizures do not occur.
Read the instructions on the package label before use. Though it is refillable, check with your doctor again before getting a refill. Make sure you understand what is written on the label, discuss any confusion about this drug with your doctor. Trileptal may also be prescribed for other health conditions like nerve pain, migraine and bipolar disorder, though the FDA has not approved it for medical conditions other than epileptic seizures. Trileptal is taken orally with or without food.
The dosage prescribed for you is determined by a few factors: your age, medical condition, the extent of your seizure, other medical conditions you have and your reaction to the first dose. Trileptal comes in strengths of 150 mg, 300 mg and 600 mg. Take your drug exactly as directed by your doctor. Space out doses evenly and take them on time. This will make the level of trileptal in your blood consistent. If you miss any dose, take it immediately you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, wait for the next dose time and take a single dose. Never overdose this drug. If you accidentally overdose contact the emergency room immediately.
- When using the immediate-release tablet the following dosages are usually prescribed:
To treat seizures, adults above 18 years should take a maximum of 1200 mg twice a day. Your doctor may place you on an initial dose of 300 mg, to be taken twice a day. If you respond well to the drug, your dose may be increased by 300 mg per day, every 3 days or 600 mg every week by your doctor.
For those using the immediate-release tablet with other medications as a combination therapy, your doctor may prescribe an initial dose of 300 mg to be taken twice a day. The total daily dose may be increased by your doctor every week, no more than 600 mg. The maximum dose is 600 mg to be taken twice daily. If your daily dosage exceeds 1200 mg, you will be closely monitored by your doctor for symptoms of side effects.
If you have been using a different seizure drug and switch over to only Trileptal, an initial dose of 300 mg may be prescribed for you, to be taken twice daily. Your doctor will start reducing your dose for the other seizure drug little by little, for about 2-4 weeks. You will be closely monitored during this period. Your medication may be increased by no more than 600 mg every week if you respond well to treatment. Maximum dosage is 1200 mg taken twice daily.
Prescribed dosage for children between the ages of 4-17 depends on their body weight and whether they are switching from one seizure medicine to trileptal. Dosage is prescribed for little children of 2-3 years based on their body mass. This drug is not to be given to children under 2 years.
Trileptal is removed from the body through the kidney. Older people above the age of 65 may have weak kidneys, therefore an initial dose of 300 mg per day is prescribed for them. Dosage may be increased in bit if they respond well to the medication. This also applies to individuals below 65 years who have bad kidney and liver.
- When using the extended-release tablet, the following dosages may be prescribed:
Adults above 18 years are prescribed an initial dose of 1200-2400 mg to be taken once daily, for the treatment of partial epileptic seizures. If you respond well to treatment, your doctor may increase your daily dose every week, no more than 600 mg daily.
Dosage for children between 6-7 years depends on their weight. Extended-release tablet is not recommended for children under 6 years of age.
Adults above 65 years are placed on 300 mg or 450 mg dosage per day. This may be increased by their doctor every week by 300-450 mg to be taken daily. Dosage will be increased every week by the doctor until a stable dosage that can properly control the seizure is reached.
Trileptal Side Effects
Common side effects of trileptal include the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Uncoordinated movement
- Loss of balance
- Stomach upset
These symptoms will usually fade out after few doses. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following serious side effects:
- Skin rashes
- Swollen lips, eyes, face, throat or tongue
- Breathing problem
- Trouble swallowing substances
- Sores surrounding the mouth and eyes
- Unusual bruising leading to bleeding
- Swollen glands
- Yellowing of the skin and eye
- Severe weakness
- Constant infection
Trileptal has a direct impact on your system’s sodium level as it makes it reduces it significantly. Low sodium level may cause these symptoms; nausea, weakness, confusion, headache and severe seizure.
Trileptal may make an individual develop suicidal thoughts. Tell your doctor if you experience new feelings of depression, panic attacks, anxiety, sudden mood swings and hyperactivity while on this medication. If you become more violent or are unable to sleep, report to your doctor. It is very important that you do not stop using this medication if your doctor did not authorize it. Stopping this medication immediately will lead to non-stop seizures.
Tell your doctor all significant details about your mental health before using this drug. Let your doctor know if you are currently on any other medication. Trileptal reduces the effectiveness of birth control pills. It is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Store in original container or packet, away from children, pets, moisture and extreme temperatures. Dispose unused drugs through the drug take-back program in your area.
Click here to learn more about Trileptal.