Eslicarbazepine (Oral)

Eslicarbazepine is an anticonvulsant prescribed to control partial seizures in patients with epilepsy.

Overview

Eslicarbazepine is an anticonvulsant, which is used alone or as part of a regimen of other medications to control convulsions and partial seizures in patients with epilepsy. It prevents seizures in the brain, but does not cure epilepsy. Patients with epilepsy will need to take Eslicarbazepine consistently to control their epilepsy.

Conditions Treated

  • Epilepsy
  • Partial seizures
  • Convulsations

Type Of Medicine

  • Anticonvulsant
  • Tablet

Side Effects

Mild Side Effects

While taking Eslicarbazepine, some patients may experience mild unwanted side effects in addition to the therapeutic effects for which the medication was prescribed. These mild side effects are a result of your body getting used to the new medication and do not usually require medical attention or treatment. They usually will subside or go away entirely over the course of the treatment. If any of these side effects become bothersome, get worse, or do not go away, contact your prescribing physician. Your doctor or other healthcare professional should be able to suggest treatments that will help reduce these side effects.

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience visual side effects such as:

  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience mental or neurological side effects such as:

  • A sensation of constant movement or spinning (such as vertigo)
  • Excessive or unusual sleepiness
  • Excessive or unusual tiredness, sluggishness, dullness, drowsiness, or a weak feeling
  • Irritability
  • Trouble or difficulty in concentrating
  • A loss of interest or ability to feel pleasure as normal
  • Changes in speech patterns or rhythms of speech

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience side effects in movement and mobility such as:

  • Tingling in the feet or hands
  • Trembling or shaking in the feet or hands
  • Shakiness or shaking in the extremities such as legs, feet, arms, and hands
  • A walk that is unsteady or shaky

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience gastrointestinal side effects such as:

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience other side effects such as:

  • Pain in the lower back or the side
  • Unusual weight fluctuation, such as weight loss or weight gain

Serious Side Effects

In addition to the therapeutic effects for which it is prescribed, Eslicarbazepine can occasionally cause unwanted effects in some patients. These side effects can be indications of more serious health problems that have been triggered by the Eslicarbazepine, or symptoms that can cause or lead to health problems in and of themselves. These side effects require medical attention and may require medical treatment. If you experience any of these side effects while taking Eslicarbazepine, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience mental or neurological side effects such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Unusual tiredness or a feeling of weakness
  • Changes in behavior
  • A feeling of discouragement
  • A feeling of emptiness or sadness
  • Suicidal ideation, thoughts about killing oneself, or attempts at suicide or self-harm
  • An increase in the frequency of seizures or the severity of seizures

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience gastrointestinal side effects such as:

  • Stomach pain or abdominal pain
  • Bloating of the stomach or of the abdominal area
  • Pain in the upper right area of the stomach or the abdomen
  • Nausea or vomiting

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience side effects related to urination such as:

  • Decreased output or frequency of urination
  • Severe thirst or unusual thirst

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience respiratory side effects such as:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
  • Rapid or shallow breathing
  • Difficulty in swallowing

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience dermatological side effects such as:

  • Rashes
  • Itchiness of the skin
  • Blistering of the skin
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Loosening of the skin
  • Hives anywhere on the body
  • Large hive-like swellings that appear on the face, lips, tongue, eyelids, throat, legs, feet, hands, or the genital area
  • White spots, ulcers, or sores on the lips or in the mouth
  • Red lesions on the skin that may have a purple center
  • Edema or swelling of the face, hands, or ankles
  • Swelling or puffiness on the face, around the eyes and on the eyelids, and on or around the lips or tongue
  • Eyes or skin that have turned yellow (jaundice)

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience other side effects such as:

  • A fever or chills
  • An irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Pain in the muscles or joints
  • Cramps or pain in the muscles
  • Lymph nodes in the neck, groin, or armpit that become tender, swollen, or painful

Dosage

The dosage and information given here is provided as a standard by the manufacturer. Always follow your doctor's directions regarding ingestion, dosage, and schedule. The dose of this medication and the duration of your regimen may be different depending on your condition and your medical needs. If you have any questions about how to take your medication safely, check with your doctor.

Adult patients taking an oral dosage form of Eslicarbazepine for seizures will normally start at 400 mg of Eslicarbazepine taken once per day. The maximum dose of Eslicarbazepine taken by adults is not usually more than 1600 mg once per day. After your first dose of Eslicarbazepine, your doctor may adjust your dosage and the schedule on which you take your medication. Do not change your dose or the schedule on which you take your medication without checking with your doctor.

If you miss a dose of your Eslicarbazepine, make sure to take it as soon as you can. If it is nearly time for your next dose, do not take your missed dose. Skip the dose you missed and return to your regular schedule when it is time for your next dose. Double dosing can increase your risk of side effects and harmful drug interactions. If you are not sure about a safe interval to take your Eslicarbazepine, contact your doctor.

Interactions

Drug interactions can increase your risk of side effects or change the way your medications work. Keep a list of all the medications, drugs, and supplements you take regularly and share this list with your pharmacist, doctor, or other healthcare professional. Your health care professional can identify potential drug interactions that may cause problems for you.

Eslicarbazepine can cause hormonal birth control to be less effective, which may lead to pregnancy. While taking Eslicarbazepine, discuss alternative or additional birth control methods with your doctor. Spotting or breakthrough bleeding while using birth control can be an indication that your birth control is not working correctly. If you are using birth control pills, a birth control patch, a birth control ring, or birth control shots, discuss additional birth control methods with your doctor.

Eslicarbazepine may cause drowsiness, which may cause unwanted effects when taken with other drugs or products that cause drowsiness. Tell your doctor if you are taking drugs, medications, or supplements that may cause drowsiness, such as:

  • Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine
  • Drugs that enhance sleep or relieve anxiety such as zolpidem, diazepam, or alprazolam
  • Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine or carisoprodol
  • Narcotic pain relievers such as hydrocodone or codeine
  • Substances such as alcohol or marijuana

Check the labels on any over-the-counter medication you are taking such as cough and cold products in order to see if there are substances which may make you drowsy. Your doctor or pharmacist can provide directions on how to take these medications safely.

Eslicarbazepine should not be used with oxcarbazepine. The similarities between these medications may heighten your risk of unwanted or serious side effects.

Eslicarbazepine should not be used along with Rilpivirine or Orlistat.

Warnings

Medical Precautions

While you are taking Eslicarbazepine, you will need to keep doctor's appointments at regular intervals. Your doctor will need to check on the progress of your Eslicarbazepine regimen to ensure that it is working appropriately, and to make adjustments to your dosage if it is not. Your doctor will also need to examine you regularly or take blood tests in order to screen for side effects that may not be easily noticeable.

Some medical tests may have their results affected or come back with false results because of Eslicarbazepine in the system. If you have any medical tests done while you are taking Eslicarbazepine, let the medical doctor in charge of your tests or treatment know that you are taking Eslicarbazepine.

Skin Reactions

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience serious skin reactions. Symptoms and side effects of the skin reactions you may experience while taking Eslicarbazepine include:

  • Skin that is loose, peeling, or blistering
  • Ulcers or sores on the skin
  • A skin rash or red lesions on the skin
  • Severe acne or pustules on the skin
  • Chills or a fever

If you experience any of these symptoms or side effects while taking Eslicarbazepine, check with your doctor immediately. You may need further medical treatment.

Allergic Reactions

Before starting to take Eslicarbazepine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to Eslicarbazepine or any other medications. Eslicarbazepine may not be right for you.

Eslicarbazepine can cause serious allergic reactions in some patients. Patients who have an allergic reaction to Eslicarbazepine may experience angioedema or an anaphylactic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Eslicarbazepine include:

  • A rash on the skin
  • Itching on the skin
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, mouth, or hands

These reactions can be life-threatening and require medical treatment. If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Eslicarbazepine, contact your doctor immediately. You may need medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction to Eslicarbazepine.

Organ Failure

In some patients, Eslicarbazepine may trigger serious allergic reactions which can affect multiple organs in the body and which may cause organ problems or even lead to organ failure. This may especially affect the liver.

Symptoms of a serious liver problem that may be triggered by Eslicarbazepine include:

  • Tenderness or pain in the upper stomach area
  • A loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools
  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Eslicarbazepine that may affect the liver or the kidneys include:

  • Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • Dark urine
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Lymph glands in the neck, groin, or armpit that are painful, tender, or swollen
  • A rash on the skin
  • A fever
  • A headache
  • Unusual tiredness

If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Eslicarbazepine, check with your doctor immediately. These symptoms may need medical attention.

Low Blood Sodium

Eslicarbazepine may cause low sodium in the bloodstream, a condition known as hyponatremia. This is a condition which may require medical attention. Symptoms of hyponatremia include:

  • A headache
  • Pain in the muscles or cramps in the muscles
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Decreased urine output
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • A heartbeat that is irregular or unusually fast
  • Swelling of the face, hands, or ankles

If you experience any of these symptoms or side effects while taking Eslicarbazepine, contact your doctor as soon as possible. You may need medical attention for these side effects.

Dizziness

Some patients taking Eslicarbazepine may have side effects that may impair everyday functioning. While taking Eslicarbazepine, you may become drowsy or dizzy, or you may feel tired or be clumsier than usual. Some patients may also experience changes in their vision. Because of these possible side effects, make sure you know how you react to Eslicarbazepine and how impaired your functioning is likely to be before you drive a car, use heavy machinery, sign contracts, or perform any actions that may be hazardous if you are not sufficiently alert or can't see or manipulate things as well as usual. If these side effects become bothersome or seriously interfere with your everyday activities, contact your doctor.

Mental Health

Eslicarbazepine can trigger mood changes in some patients that may have adverse effects on mental health. Some patients may become more agitated or irritable than usual without apparent provocation. Some patients may get upset more easily than usual, feel hopeless or sad for no apparent reason, or feel unusually hostile, restless, or nervous. Some patients may experience depression or even experience suicidal thoughts or tendencies. Patients who exhibit abnormal behavior while taking Eslicarbazepine should contact their doctor as soon as possible.

Pregnancy

Eslicarbazepine can reduce or interfere with the mechanisms of hormonal birth control, which means that your hormonal birth control may not work as well as usual while you are taking Eslicarbazepine. Patients using hormonal birth control while taking Eslicarbazepine may need to use an additional method of birth control. If you are taking Eslicarbazepine while you take birth control, discuss your medications with your doctor.

Eslicarbazepine has been shown to cause reduced fertility, birth defects and fetal malformation, and slowness of fetal growth in animal tests. Patients taking Eslicarbazepine who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should consult with their doctor about any possible risks to the carrying parent or to the fetus. Patients who become pregnant while taking Eslicarbazepine should consult with their doctor about the safety of taking this medication while pregnant.

Eslicarbazepine may pass into breast milk, and the results of the residual medication on a nursing infant are unknown. Patients who are nursing or who may begin nursing while taking Eslicarbazepine should consult with their doctor about the safety of using Eslicarbazepine while nursing.

Storage

Eslicarbazepine tablets should be stored at room temperature, between 68°F to 77°F. It is safe to expose Eslicarbazepine tablets to temperatures no colder than 59°F and no hotter than 86°F.

Keep your Eslicarbazepine in a closed container in a safe location out of the reach of children and pets. Do not expose your Eslicarbazepine to direct light, moisture, extreme heat, or freezing environments.

If your medication is outdated, do not use it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to dispose of expired medication safely.

Summary

(Write no more than 15% of article for Summary)

Eslicarbazepine is an anticonvulsant prescribed to prevent partial seizures or convulsions in people with epilepsy. It needs to be taken consistently in order to control convulsions. It is available in a tablet form.

The dosage and schedule of Eslicarbazepine depends on the patient and their needs. Most adult patients begin with 400 mg of Eslicarbazepine taken once per day, but may take as much as 1600 mg of Eslicarbazepine per day.

Eslicarbazepine can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control, so patients taking hormonal birth control should discuss an additional method with their doctor.

Eslicarbazepine should not be taken along with oxcarbazepine, Rilpivirine, or Orlistat.

Eslicarbazepine can make some patients drowsy or tired. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Eslicarbazepine effects you. Patients taking Eslicarbazepine should use caution when ingesting other medications or substances that may cause drowsiness, such as antihistamines, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medications, sleep medications, narcotic pain relievers, or substances such as alcohol or marijuana.

Eslicarbazepine may cause mild side effects such as double vision or blurred vision, dizziness or drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, or mood changes. Eslicarbazepine may also cause mild shaking in the body, weight gain or loss, and indigestion or heartburn. Contact your doctor if these side effects become bothersome.

Eslicarbazepine can cause some serious side effects that need medical attention. Serious side effects of Eslicarbazepine include extreme tiredness or dizziness, serious mood swings or negative thoughts or feelings, or an increase in the frequency or severity of seizures.

Patients taking Eslicarbazepine may experience allergic reactions that can have serious health consequences. Symptoms of these allergic reactions include stomach pain or bloating, nausea or vomiting, severe thirst and decreased urination, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or skin irritation such as a rash, welts, lesions, or sores, edema or swelling of the face or extremities. Some patients may also experience jaundice, chills or a fever, a fast or irregular heartbeat, aches and cramps in the muscles or joints, or swollen lymph nodes. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible.