The typical signs of an epileptic fit or convulsions are spasms, shaking of your body, discomforts like vomiting, dyspepsia as well as nausea. A few people living with epileptic seizures tend to blink more often, get into a gloomy frame of mind or tend to stay depressed. Causes for convulsions are a severe reduction in blood sugar, imbalanced status of electrolytes, brain injuries or other infectious conditions. COVID-19 also fares as a likely reason for the onset of seizures. In this milieu, oxcarbazepine is a widely prescribed anti-seizure drug. But, does it interact adversely when taken with other drugs? It is important to know the likely risks before starting to take this medication.

When your nerve cells fire up in an excited manner, such actions may lead to convulsions and seizures. Your central nervous system (CNS) may prompt the system to go unconscious accompanied by violent tremors or involuntary shaking. Such involuntary spells may last for a few minutes and may then subside on their own. Frequent incidence of these episodes may trigger your caregiving team to prescribe muscle relaxants, antiepileptic and / or anticonvulsant medications. It is vital to know oxcarbazepine is a drug taken for the control of seizures as well as fits. If left untreated, such tremors may lead to a complete loss of consciousness.

It is difficult to tell when these episodes may occur; their incidence is known to show up all of a sudden. No two persons with epilepsy may encounter the same form of fits or convulsions; intensity or seriousness of each spell and duration of each episode may differ from one to another. Added to this, many types of seizures are medically known and are documented in greater detail. Among the various types, an epileptic condition known as febrile seizure is known to afflict children more than adults; it is pronounced to show up among younger children who have a fever or an increase in body temperature.

On the other hand, if you have lost consciousness for a few minutes and are waking up abruptly, it is known as absence seizure. During the course of this spell, you may lose coordination and it may drag you into a brief comatose stage. Another type of epilepsy is the tonic-clonic kind; here, your muscles tend to get stiffened, you may find it difficult to breathe in and out. This can lead to a fatal outcome if you are not taking needful clinical care in a timely manner.

Drug interactions of oxcarbazepine

Oxcarbazepine is a widely consumed antiepileptic medication. It may however cause a few undesired interactions when consumed along with other drugs. As a foremost precaution, it is essential to tell your caregiver of the other drugs you are taking and also of existing treating plans. It is considered a good practice to make note of all such currently taken medications. While you are making a list, care to add prescription meds, over the counter drugs, herbal supplements, dietary aids as well as mineral supplements.

If your medication plan includes intake of muscle relaxing drugs, you are advised to talk to your caregiver. It is harmful to take muscle relaxants along with antiepileptic drugs such as oxcarbazepine. Also, if you are already taking an anti-seizure or an antiepileptic drug and your new medication plan has another such medication – it is not advisable to take multiple forms of the same drug at the same time. As mentioned above, your treating physician must know of such meds prior to starting your dosage plan.

Among people living with periodic spasms or muscular weakness, your doctor may have prescribed medications such as primidone or phenobarbital. In some cases, drugs like phenytoin are prescribed as part of treatment. Moreover, if you are living with any known allergies or hypersensitivity to anti-seizure drugs or anticonvulsants, your physician must be kept abreast of all such allergies. Oxcarbazepine is known to trigger an acute spells of drowsiness. While you are drowsy, it can be dangerous to perform activities such as – swimming, cycling or diving. It may also be dangerous to perform activities that require a fairly high level of concentration and / or focus. Those who work with heavy machinery may need to stay away from such activities as it can lead to serious accidents or accidental falls.

People who are treating signs of infections such as common cold, coughing or a runny nose may be advised to take cold medications as well as cough reducing drugs / expectorants. Drugs of these genres may have alcohol in them, and may cause dizziness. While taking such meds along with oxcarbazepine you are likely to witness an intensive spell of giddiness. It is highly recommended to talk to your treating physician of such meds; as a precaution, it is strongly recommended to provide a time interval of a few hours in between the doses of these meds.

A few meds may deplete salt or electrolyte levels in your system; salts such as sodium and / or chloride play a key role in providing energies for your daily activities. Intake of such meds along with oxcarbazepine may lead to a pronounced loss of electrolytes, salts and minerals. Upon noticing signs such as dullness or muscular pains, it is highly important to talk to your physician. Those who are already on dialysis (of at least 2 sittings each week) must inform of such sessions to their caregiving team and pharmacist. People who are taking drugs to treat renal disorders must inform their doctor of their kidney problems. While taking oxcarbazepine, if you are observing signs such as a decrease or an increase in the output of urine, darkened discharge of urine, frequent episodes of urination and / or experiencing pains as you urinate, your caregiver must be made aware of all symptoms.

So, how to take oxcarbazepine safely?

It is important to start doses of oxcarbazepine at lower dosage strengths. Your caregiving team may only increase the strength of dosages in a gradual manner. Your doctor will also observe how well your body responds to the first few doses of this drug. Gradual increase of dosage strength is implemented only when your body does not respond adversely in the form of allergic reactions or undesired side effects. It is a sound practice to consume anticonvulsant meds such as oxcarbazepine at the same timeslot each day – all through your dosage plan.

Also, never stop taking this antiepileptic med if you think the ailment is better managed and is under control. Stopping your medication plan abruptly may soon lead to a relapse of your medical condition. It is equally unsafe to stop taking this drug without informing your pharmacist and / or physician. A sudden discontinuation can trigger the emergence of signs of withdrawal such as itchiness or other skin related problems, sleeplessness or other such disorders, nausea, vomiting and / or indigestion. This drug may be consumed either prior to or after food. Duration of medication plan is influenced by age of patient, body weight, medical track record and existing types of ailments, if any. Typical dose is once or twice each day.

What are unintended effects the intake of oxcarbazepine may trigger?

Consumption of oxcarbazepine (or other such muscle relaxant / anticonvulsant drugs) is likely to cause mental health conditions. So, if you are already being treated for mental conditions such as depression, anxieties, phobias, hallucinations or bipolar disorders, your doctor as well as pharmacist must be kept abreast of all such problems. You are advised to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and / or other signs of mental illnesses. As a precautionary measure, do not delay seeking medical care when these signs show up; rush to a healthcare setting such as a hospital or a clinic.

If you are a resident of the US, you are advised to take emergency support by reaching out to 911 on an urgent mode. As an alternative measure, get in touch with food and drug administration (FDA) in US. It is important to know that the drug clearing agency operates its own helplines. These helplines help handle adverse effects or allergic reactions among people who use any of the drugs this federal body has cleared. Those who are living in Canada province are advised to take needful care from a poison control unit operating nearer to where you live. Canadians may also call Health Canada and take medical help without any delay.

This drug may trigger some unintended reactions and adverse side effects among a few users. Some users have reported of abdominal problems like vomiting and / or nausea, constipation (due to hardening of stools as well as poor bowel movements) and being sleepless. In case of constipation, long term use or a daily use of laxatives or stools softeners is not recommended. The good thing is – many of these discomforts may disappear once your body gets used to dosages of oxcarbazepine. But, if any of these aforesaid side effects and adverse reactions persists for a longer time span, take needful medical care as soon as you possibly can.

Last but not least, a few allergies such as inflammation of skin, peeling, bruises or blister formation may also show up in some rare instances. You are advised to consult with your physician / pharmacist upon witnessing any of these allergic reactions, and also have a thorough understanding of the drugs that may adversely interact with oxcarbazepine.

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