Before taking oxcarbazepine:
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to oxcarbazepine, carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol), any other medications, or any of the inactive ingredients in oxcarbazepine tablets, extended release tablets, or suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the inactive ingredients in oxcarbazepine tablets or suspension.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone); amitriptyline (Elavil); calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac), felodipine (Plendil), isradipine (DynaCirc), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Procardia), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); chlorpromazine (Thorazine);clomipramine (Anafranil); cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar); desmopressin (DDAVP, Minirin, Stimate); diazepam (Valium); diuretics ('water pills'); indapamide (Natrilix); other medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote); proton-pump inhibitors such as lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), and pantoprazole (Protonix); theophylline (Theo-Dur); and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). Other medications may interact with oxcarbazepine, so be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease. Also tell the doctor if you are of Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Korean, Indian, or Filipino descent.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you are using hormonal contraceptives, you should know that this type of birth control may not work well when used with oxcarbazepine. Hormonal contraceptives should not be used as your only method of birth control while you are taking this medication. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. Call your doctor if you miss a period or think you may be pregnant while you are taking oxcarbazepine.
you should know that this medication may make you drowsy or dizzy, affect the way you move, or may cause double vision or other vision changes. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways and you may become suicidal (thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so) while you are taking oxcarbazepine for the treatment of epilepsy, mental illness, or other conditions. A small number of adults and children 5 years of age and older (about 1 in 500 people) who took anticonvulsants such as oxcarbazepine to treat various conditions during clinical studies became suicidal during their treatment. Some of these people developed suicidal thoughts and behavior as early as 1 week after they started taking the medication. There is a risk that you may experience changes in your mental health if you take an anticonvulsant medication such as oxcarbazepine, but there may also be a risk that you will experience changes in your mental health if your condition is not treated. You and your doctor will decide whether the risks of taking an anticonvulsant medication are greater than the risks of not taking the medication. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: panic attacks; agitation or restlessness; new or worsening irritability, anxiety, or depression; acting on dangerous impulses; difficulty falling or staying asleep; aggressive, angry, or violent behavior; mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood); talking or thinking about wanting to hurt yourself or end your life; withdrawing from friends and family; preoccupation with death and dying; giving away prized possessions; or any other unusual changes in behavior or mood. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.