Epilepsy Home > Oxtellar XR and Breastfeeding

The manufacturer of Oxtellar XR (oxcarbazepine extended-release) recommends that women either breastfeed or take this drug, but not do both. It is known that this medication passes through breast milk. Due to the potential problems that may occur in a nursing infant, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider about whether the benefits outweigh the risks for your situation.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Oxtellar XR?

Oxtellar XR™ (oxcarbazepine extended-release) is a prescription medication used in combination with other medications for the treatment of partial seizures. Oxtellar XR passes through breast milk.
The manufacturer of Oxtellar XR recommends that women either breastfeed or take Oxtellar XR, but not do both. Therefore, you should talk to your healthcare provider if you are currently breastfeeding a child or thinking about breastfeeding a child and have been prescribed this medication. 

More Information on Oxtellar XR and Breastfeeding

Studies have shown that Oxtellar XR passes through breast milk in humans. Based on these studies, levels found in breast milk are expected to be lower than those found in the mother's bloodstream. No serious problems have been reported in a breastfed infant whose mother took oxcarbazepine (the active drug in Oxtellar XR). However, this information is based on limited cases, and until more information is available, all possible risks cannot yet be ruled out.
Even though the manufacturer of Oxtellar XR recommends it not be used in breastfeeding women, other experts think oxcarbazepine is likely safe for use during breastfeeding, especially if the breastfed infant is older than two months of age. Because of these unclear recommendations, it is best to speak with your healthcare provider about your individual situation.

If your healthcare provider recommends using Oxtellar XR while breastfeeding, make sure to watch your child for any possible Oxtellar side effects, and report any potential problems to your child's healthcare provider. Signs of possible Oxtellar side effects may include:
It should also be noted that Oxtellar XR is only approved for use in combination with other anti-seizure medications. Therefore, it is important to learn if the other anti-seizure medicines you are taking are safe to use while nursing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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