Trileptal is a drug that is approved to control partial seizures in people with epilepsy. It is not known exactly how the drug works. However, it is possible that it works by blocking sodium channels in the brain. Trileptal comes in the form of a tablet that is taken twice a day. As with any medicine, side effects are possible. Some of the more common side effects include dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
What Is Trileptal?
Trileptal® (oxcarbazepine) is a prescription medication used to treat a specific type of seizure in people with epilepsy. Seizures are divided into two major categories -- partial seizures (also known as focal seizures) and generalized seizures. Partial seizures occur in just one part of the brain. Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain. Trileptal is approved to control partial seizures in people with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that occurs when there are recurring, brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. This change in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms).
It is not known exactly how Trileptal works to prevent partial seizures in people with epilepsy. It may work by blocking sodium channels in the brain. By blocking sodium channels, it may decrease activity of nerve cells, preventing them from firing abnormally.
Effects of Trileptal
Several studies have shown that the medication is effective for the treatment of partial seizures in adults and children as young as two years old. In these studies, people taking Trileptal had fewer partial seizures, compared to those not taking it. The drug was effective when used alone or in combination with other seizure medications.
While the medication can be effective at controlling seizures, it is not an epilepsy cure.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Trileptal [package insert]. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation;2011 March.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 9, 2009.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed May 14, 2007.
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