Trileptal is used to treat partial seizures in people with epilepsy. It is thought that the drug may work by blocking sodium channels in the brain, which may decrease the activity of brain cells and prevent them from firing abnormally. Trileptal can be taken either alone or with other seizure medications, depending on a person's age. Off-label Trileptal uses can include the treatment of bipolar disorder and trigeminal neuralgia.
Trileptal® (oxcarbazepine) is a prescription medication that is used to treat epilepsy. Specifically, Trileptal is approved for treating epilepsy in people who experience certain types of seizures called partial seizures or focal seizures. Trileptal is approved to treat partial seizures in the following ways:
- Alone or with other seizure medications in adults and children ages four and older
- With other seizure medications in children ages two and older.
Epilepsy is a brain condition that occurs when there are sudden, brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. This change in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain is affected, a seizure may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses (taste, touch, smell, vision, or hearing).
Some people may have only a single seizure during their lives -- and one seizure does not mean that a person has epilepsy (see Seizures and Epilepsy). In fact, the term epilepsy refers to a number of different kinds of unprovoked, recurring seizures that happen for a number of different reasons.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. When the cause of epilepsy is known, it may be one of the following:
- Other medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease
- Head trauma
- Brain tumors or brain infections, such as meningitis
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Genetics (see Genes and Epilepsy).
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories -- partial seizures (also known as focal seizures) and generalized seizures.