What is Trileptal?
Trileptal is a medication known as an anticonvulsant that is used to treat seizures. It is also sometimes used as a mood stabilizer to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder.


When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?
Trileptal was first approved by the FDA in 2001.


Is there a generic version of Trileptal?
Yes, the generic version is known as oxcarbazepine and is sold in the U.S.


Are there any major differences between Trileptal and other medications used to treat bipolar disorder?
Trileptal belongs to the class of medications known as anticonvulsants. Anticonvulsants are sometimes prescribed to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Trileptal may be prescribed in combination with other medications to treat symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of taking Trileptal.


Article continues below

Concerned about Bipolar Disorder?

Take our 2-minute Bipolar quiz to see if you or a loved one may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.

Take Bipolar Quiz

Can children take Trileptal?
Children are prescribed Trileptal for seizures, but the effectiveness and safety of use for bipolar disorder has not been established. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks and benefits and potential side effects to monitor.


Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Trileptal and any other drugs?
There are hundreds of drugs which are known to interact with Trileptal in major, moderate, or mild ways, so let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before you begin taking the medication. Some of these might include amiodarone, amitriptyline, calcium channel blockers, chlorpromazine, clomipramine, cyclophosphamide, desmopressin, diazepam, diuretics, hormonal contraceptives, indapamide, seizure medications, proton-pump inhibitors, theophylline, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The medication can also decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.


Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Trileptal therapy?
Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Trileptal, such as kidney or liver disease.


What is the typical dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Trileptal?
Dosage will vary depending on the age of the patient and the condition being treated.


What do I do if I miss a dose?
You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses. Talk to your doctor about how long you should wait in between doses.


What side effects can Trileptal cause?
Common side effects can include:
• cold symptoms
• crying
• lack of balance
• changes in vision
• dizziness
• crying
• depressed mood
• spinning sensation
• uncontrolled eye movement

It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is also recommended that people avoid alcohol and illegal drugs while on the medication, as they can worsen adverse effects. Report major side effects to your doctor immediately, which can include swelling, thirst, nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, decreased alertness, rash, fever, blisters, irritated eyes, blotches on skin, yellowing of skin or eyes, bleeding or bruising, joint pain, chest pain, signs of infection, or changes in urination. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.


What are the potential psychological side effects of taking Trileptal?
Taking anticonvulsant medications can sometimes result in increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors in a small percentage of people. Seek medical help if you experience these thoughts or other changes in your behavior or mood.


Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Trileptal?
Trileptal may cause birth defects and fetal harm when taken during pregnancy. The drug can be transferred via breast milk and potentially harm a baby. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take Trileptal. The medication can also impact the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.


Can symptoms occur if Trileptal is discontinued?
It’s important not to discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor. Withdrawal symptoms of Trileptal can include insomnia and return of seizures or bipolar symptoms (depending on the purpose of taking the medication).


What should I do if I overdose on Trileptal?
An overdose of Trileptal could be fatal, so seek immediate help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose. Overdose symptoms can include dizziness, sedation, decreased heart rate, low blood pressure, low sodium levels, seizures, and coma.


Is Trileptal habit-forming?
Trileptal is not habit-forming, but it is not recommended that you discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.


How much does Trileptal cost?
According to goodrx.com, 60 tables of 300 mg generic oxcarbazepine cost approximately $150. 60 tablets of 300 mg Trileptal cost approximately $500.


Are there any disadvantages to Trileptal?
The biggest disadvantages of Trileptal are potential side effects. Pregnant women are also typically advised not to take the medication due to the risks.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other healthcare providers. This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.

Article Sources
Last Updated: Nov 25, 2018