Oxcarbazepine is a newer anti-convulsant medication used to control seizures. It is used in addition to other medication to treat focal and generalised seizures.

Oxcarbazepine must be prescribed by a doctor. You should never give your child anyone else’s medications.

Side effects

All medications have side effects. Not everyone will experience side effects.

Below are some of the possible side effects your child may experience:


If your child develops a rash after starting Oxcarbazepine, there are important features to look for such as: red eyes, red mouth or blisters around the mouth, nose and lips. If your child develops a rash or any of these signs you should contact your doctor immediately or go to the nearest Emergency Department. The medication may need to be stopped immediately under medical supervision.

 Other possible side effects

  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Shaking
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Unsteadiness
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Problems concentrating


Your doctor will check and make sure that other drugs your child is taking are compatible with Oxcarbazepine. This is also important if you are giving your child herbal or complementary medicines. The doctor can check to make sure they are compatible.

Oxcarbazepine may alter the way the liver processes other medications, either increasing or decreasing their level. Some medications that may be affected include Phenytoin, Diazepam and the oral contraceptive pill.


Seizure exacerbation

Oxcarbazepine may make some types of seizures (absence or myoclonic seizures) worse. Contact your doctor if you think your child’s seizures have worsened after starting Oxcarbazepine.

Monitoring and medication levels

Some doctors may want to monitor the level of sodium in the blood and the full blood count of children taking Oxcarbazepine. 

Pregnancy and contraception

  • The oral contraceptive pill may not work properly in people taking Oxcarbazepine.
  • There is very limited data on the safety of Oxcarbazepine during pregnancy at the present time.
  • If a pregnancy is planned, a discussion with your neurologist is recommended. For further information, refer to the Contraception and Pregnancy section.


The information provided in this handout is limited and does not replace the need for a  medical consultation. It is very important you speak to your doctor about all aspects of your medication including side effects when medication is first prescribed. Report any concerns to your doctor promptly.