69 thoughts on “Bipolar Medication Spotlight: Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine)

  • September 14, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    I’m currently taking 900 mg of trileptal and 25 mg zoloft for Bipolar II (I’m 95 lbs). The only other bipolar med I tried was lamictal – which worked incredibly, but sadly I had a terrible allergic reaction. The trileptal has a very small but noticable effect. Mainly, it dulls my emotions. I am just a little bit calmer than I would be without it. At times it is easier to get exhausted, and because of this I could not take a higher dose. It seems to do much for the anxiety and energeticness of mania, and helps with mixed episodes (keeping the panic out of my depression), but does nothing for depression alone. Thus I am on the antidepressant as well, which keeps me feeling a little more human without having extreme emotion and energy burst.

    I’ve noticed I will get nauseous if I am not careful with eating well. It helps me fall and stay asleep. When I first started taking it, I was dizzy for about 30 minutes after taking a dose, but that has passed. All in all, it is certainly not a great drug for me, at least compared to Lamictal which did wonders, but it is helpful.

  • September 15, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    600mg worked well at first but after 2 months i need something else it does not work for mr anymore. I panic alot and get very upset . I never seem to be calm.

  • September 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I am bipolar. This is one of several meds I am on. The big thing is the anti-manic effects. It works so well that I can sit and cry over an intense cartoon with my kids. I am only taking 450 mg. I want to try something else.
    I also take
    Clonazepam 1 to .5 mg, once a day
    Lamotrigine 250mg, once a day
    Provigil 100mg, once a day

  • September 28, 2008 at 11:06 am

    I took abilify for two months and I gained 25 pounds. My doc just put me on Geodon. I also take zoloft and lamictal. Do I have to take Geodon and just take trileptal instead? I’m sick of all the side effects and I used to take trileptal years ago and nothing bad happened. I just don’t want to take any antipsychotic meds due to all the side effects. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • August 12, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      i took the same exact line of meds…and i ended up with a mix of trileptal and abilify. see if your doctor can balance them out for you, and just watch what you put in your mouth. 🙂

    • April 5, 2014 at 2:25 am

      Michelle –
      I understand completely what you are going through. I have been prescribed geodon, depakote, lithium, and I can’t remember what else. Add on the anxiety meds, sleeping meds.. eh gads I feel like a walking pharmacy.
      I want to forworn you of one med that for years has stabilized me. It is seroquel. However, after about 6 years it has taken it’s toll on me. All at once I’ve had serious side effects. My teeth started falling apart, literally – I had to have 4 teeth pulled. This was inbetween a six month exam. My family doc had my blood checked and I was dx with very high triglycerates – had to take another med. Just recently have had my sugar increase – with the meds – and now I have sugar diabetes. Other medical problems too. My doc, dentist have told me to get off of seroquel that it is now at a chronic point.
      I want to let you know this and give you what info
      I could.
      I’ve been bipolar for many years. I will be switching meds just like you. I sincerely wish the best for you – there are some new meds that are on the market. Good luck, there,s always a bright side, even with all the trials we go through.

      • November 1, 2018 at 3:41 am

        I was on Seroqeuel from 2008 to 2012 and have stayed off that medication. At the time, I needed it for sleep and I functioned everyday with enough sleep. After I got pregnant in 2012 I got off the med and when I gave birth I did go back on it with a lower dose when before I was taking 600 mg at night. I couldn’t wake up for feeding for my infant and instantly got off . I was put on Trazadone 50 mg for sleep in 2013. Then slowly increased, when needed. I was increased up to 200 mg that I’m on currently. I find I’m insomnia most nights especially, since my psychologist slowly weaned me off my anxiety medication Vailum 5mg 3 times a day that I’ve been on since 2013 to April 2018. I took the Valium at least once a day everyday. If I needed sleep I’d take 2 for the day for extra help when the Trazadone didn’t help. Lamicital I tried and I didn’t feel like my self. I was also taking Celexa and Latuda with Lamicital. All 3 made me nausea. I tried Lithium first when I diagnosed. Made me crazy. Sleep at day and up at night. Doctor said I was allergic. I had allergic reaction to Geodon too. Zoloft made symptoms worse. Welbutrin gave me headaches. Prozac don’t think I tried. Topamac I take for migraines and gabapapatin I take for back pain, but don’t feel it helps for bipolar. Would love to try new FDA medication with no less nausea or headache sideaffects. I have Bipolar disorder with bad depression with less mania. I need energetic! I was diagnosed in 2008 at 28. I have 3 children. It’s a struggle because of trying to have it together for my kids. I do good putting on a All together face at times then days, it’s waisted in bed catching on sleep. After being without out of it for 2 days. I moved to Michigan from Indiana and have been unstable with my medication because the process of paperwork of switching Medicare and medicade in states has taken 3 months with exception of only taking celexa. For sleep I’ve only been one pill of over the counter sleeping meds or Melatonin 20 mg. That sometimes doesnt help. Thank god i see a gamily doctor today November 1st, 2018 for something to start me on or to refer me to psychologist. This something i dont eish on my worst enemy! What we go through is a a living he’ll everyday if it’s not the right medication and not regulated!!! Good luck to everyone! Stay hopeful.

  • October 1, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Michelle, when you find the answer to that one let me know. Lithium I had kidney malfunction with; Geodon made me fall asleep while driving & incredibly dizzy so I had to lie down on the floor at work as the room was spinning so badly (very professional); Abilify (still on, but trying to reduce dosage) have gained 50 lbs. in 8 years; Lamictal seems to not have any side effects; also take Provigil, Trazodone, klonopin & trying Topamax to see if it will help with weight loss & maybe can replace the Abilify…

    Meanwhile, with the weight gain I have now high blood pressure & cholesterol & now have tested in the diabetic range in blood sugar so taking meds for those conditions…

  • October 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I was diagnosed with bipolar II 3 or 4 years ago and was put on lithium which I found I could not tolerate. Went through a lot of meds and now am on 300 mg of Lamictal, 5-10 mg of Zyprexa (and have gained 30 lbs.), 75 mg of Zoloft, and 12.5 mg of Ambien. Lately, my dr. prescribed 300-600mg of Trileptal to help with the anger/rage that will erupt. I find though that it makes me feel like a zombie and have not been all that compliant taking it. If I force my way through with it, will that side-effect ease up?

    • June 4, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Yes. I’ve noticed that the sedating side effect goes away over time. I’ve grown a bit of a tolerance. It knocked me out the first month or so I took it but it was a relief at the time considering mixed episode and then mania. Try starting at a lower dose and see how that goes. And the more meds you take the harder it is to determine which is causing what.

  • October 22, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I take 300mg of Trileptal 2X daily for bipolar 2 disorder. It has been my miracle drug. After I first started taking it there was such a huge difference. I almost cried when I realized this is now ‘normal’ people feel. It was like a huge weight was lifted off of me or like i took off sunglasses to see how bright the world really was. This, to me, is proof that Trileptal is indeed effective in treating some people with bipolar disorder. I never had any side effects whatsoever… not even minor ones.

    • December 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      I felt pretty normal at first then I regressed for some reason. I would hate to keep changing medication. I have an appointment tomorrow. I don’t like the fact that I could have seizure if I stop this medication. But it sounds better than liver failure. 🙁 Makes me tired just thinking about it.

  • October 26, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    I was just wondering. I have bipolar..I am currently taking 50mg of topamax. I have really bad anxiety…controling my freaking life basically. My doctor wont give me something because of my “substance abuse history”. I was thinking of klonopin. Mind you I was only smoking weed. Is klonopin and Topamax a good combination? I want to go to my doctor prepared and informed. I cant handle this anxiety crap much longer…please help. Thanks.

    • December 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Sometimes I wish we could just smoke pot for medical reasons but I don’t think that would help my motivation. Lol

  • October 31, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Holls –
    It seems like your is your target symptom right now – and it will certainly be best to discuss this with your doc and to be clear about the type of anxiety, frequency and severity of it and how it impacts your life. That can help her make treatment decisions more effectively.
    there are other choices for anxiety besides klonopin or other tranquilizers. It will be worth reviewing those options with your doc in detail. Topamax doesn’t do much for anxiety – but can be used in combination with many of the medications used to treat anxiety.
    you didn’t say the status of your mood disorder and this will also play a role in the treatment decisions surrounding your anxiety – so again you want to give the doc as much info as you can about your mood states and cycles. Keeping a calendar with brief notes of the mood quality of each day can be really helpful.

    Candida Fink MD

  • November 19, 2008 at 9:24 am

    My husband was diagnosed with bipolar 1 in August. Previously he had been diagnosed with cyclothymia. He was hospitalized for 10 days when he was diagnosed and put on Trileptal (300mg 3x per day). A week after getting out of the hospital, he got a really bad migraine and cut his dosage to 2x per day without consulting the nurse in charge of his case. Initially she told me that dosage would never get him stable but after seeing him again said that was enough. Since then it seems to me that he is superficially stable, but still not fully stable especially in relation to our son and me. He says he is concerned about not allowing the meds to make him lose the good things he got from his full-blown mania such as greater clarity. Any thoughts on whether the Trileptal is right for him? Thanks.

  • December 1, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Trato depressão há cerca de 6 anos .Inicialmente com Fluoxetina 20 mg/dia e posteriormente com Paroxetina 20 mg.Há um mes , não havia melhora da depressão; pelo contrário, piorou, com muitos episódios de choro fácil, desanimo intenso ,etc. A paroxetina foi trocada pelo Trileptal(oxcarbazepina)300mg, 1 cp ao dia; a sensaçaõ de desanimo melhorou ,mas a qualidade de sono piorou muito: pesadelos e insonia;falta de concentraçaõ e a pressão subiu (normalmente é 11x 7 e foi para 15×9 . Ao falar com meu médico pediu para diminuir a dose para 150 mg/dia .Tenho 55 anos,em uso de estandron -P 1 ampola mensal há 6 meses(este foi o melhor remédio que tomei para a menopausa, na falta deste sentia muitas dores de cabeça,alem de onda de calor.Posso continuar o medicamento?esta dose é mais adequada ? quanto tempo preciso aguardar para sentir melhoras? è péssimo ter depressão, com pesadelos pior ainda. Tem algum remedio que melhore pesadelos ,sem levar à dependencia?

  • March 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    After 20 years of cycling depression, I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar II last year. I have taken a series of anti-depressants for the last 7 years, most recently Wellbutrin – they seem to work for awhile and then don’t seem to help much. While trying to learn more about Bipolar II, I kept reading that anti-depressants actually aggrivate symptoms in some people. So I have recently gotten off the Wellbutrin and don’t seem to be missing it at this point.

    I tried lamictal and it was amazing, worked wonders for me. But sadly I developed the allergic rash, so had to quit taking it. I also tried Abilify and Geodon – which both had such horrific side effects I was rendered completely non-functional. I just can’t seem to tolerate the mood stablizers. This week my doctor prescribed Trileptal and I’m about to start that. I so hope it will help. It is sad to finally know what I have and not be able to tolerate any of the meds to treat it.

  • March 10, 2009 at 7:38 am

    I have used Trileptal for over 7 years and I have to say it is the best I ever had. it helped me better than any thing I have ever taken. It really helped mania. I feel better with than any other med. I think clear with it.

    • August 17, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Just curious, how much are you taking? I want to keep the dose as low as possible because the psyc also says to take Effexor 75 and Lamictal 200 and I don’t want to be taking too many meds.

      • August 9, 2014 at 10:19 pm

        I take Effexor 75 and Lamitical. Been on effexor for years. Added Lamitcal about months ago. I’m experiencing horrible memory problems. Going to my doctor this week. Need to find a good mood stabilizer that will work well with Effexor

      • February 8, 2019 at 10:16 pm

        After 40 years of hell and in and out of psych wards more than I can count I was diagnosed with BIPOLAR 1, I’ve been on pretty much all the meds listed above but what works best for me is this combination lexapro, mirtazapine, risperidone, ability, triliptal, clonazepam and most recently was diagnosed with ADD and Ritalin has been a life saver, some psychiatric doctors won’t prescribe benzodiazepines but I need them for my anxiety is to much to bear without them if your doc isn’t helping your symptoms they are not helping you, I was diagnosed late in life wish I felt now over the past 15 years or so of misdiagnosis or not prescribing proper meds but happy to finally find something that works!

  • April 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I’m bipolar1 and was on 50 mgs lamictle and 400 seroqual for 6 months. Saw doc yesterday and she took me off lamictle (noticed side effects) and has added 300 mgs trileptal and seroquel down to 300 (I was drooling!) OH, also .25 xanax. My question is “when will an anti depressant be added in treatment? Does that come in after the moods are stabalized? I was on Prozac for 19 years until I went manic in October 08 after death of my brother (I was caretaker) Eventhough I feel calmer I still feel that down low depression. So if I feel calm but still depressed, shouldm’t I be on an anti depressant? Thanks for any info you can give me. I asked the doc yesterday and she said what I’m taking are for depression – very comfusing. Loretta PS I was told by doc that 19 years ago all they has was prozac?

  • April 10, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I am bipolar and am prone to rapid cycling and,as the disorder progresses,I experience more depressions and mixed episodes than manic episodes. I tried many medication combinations including lithium, depakote, lamictal, prozac and some others that I can no longer recall. I gained wieght, became lethargic and unmotivated on certain meds, or remained depressed or manic on others. I finally told my psychiatrist that the only way I had any hope of staying on a medication was if it did not have wieght gain as a side effect. If you are taking several different meds that all have a 10 lb average wieght gain side effect, you could end up very obese…which is not healthy. On lithium my hands shook so badly it was embarassing, on depakote I felt ill and swelled up quite groteskly. We picked Trileptal out of a medical book and gave it a try. I have taken Trileptal and zoloft for at least 4 years now and am happier and healthier than I once believed possible. As long as I take my meds exactly as I should, I am very “normal”. No one would ever guess that I am bipolar. I even took my meds through out my pregnancy…I simply could not go without or I would have had full blown episodes. My 2 year old is very healthy. My only complaint is that trileptal is expensive. It is my miracle drug….honestly, for 2 years, once diagnosed, I took many different meds and nothing worked. My life, and the lives of those around me were pure hell. Ocasionally I forget a few pills, or simply don’t care to keep up with my meds the way that I should and I immediately start experiencing hypo-manic episode or mixed episodes or begin getting depressed.
    I still can’t believe that Trileptal and zoloft work for me….it seemed for years that I was doomed to be “sick” for the rest of my life.
    If I experience any side effects from the Trileptal, I’d say lack of concentration and focus. I find it very difficult to follow conversations or stay on track with my thoughts, they jump around. I also forget a lot. I lose my train of thought, forget names, lose memories etc. My son is ADHD so it has crossed my mind that I am also ADHD…who knows.

  • April 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I take 600mg of Trileptal 2x a day and 100 mg of zoloft 1x a day. Trileptal has to be taken 2x a day due to short half life. I was also told anything under 600 mg is not a theraputic dose. I get a dizzy high feeling when I take my dose in the morning on an empty stomach with coffe, but am ok with that. Lamictal keeps may anger and anxiety in check; keeps mixed episodes and rapid cycling at bay. Those of you who have yet to find the right meds, don’t lose hope, just keep working with your doctor, but also educate yourself. I had one psychiatrist prescribe a medicine to be taken 1x a day, only to find out that if I did not take it 2x a day, it would not do any good. Doctors make mistakes too. You have to study up and research; you know you and your illness better than anyone.

  • April 17, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I have depression (which I have had for many years) about 5 years ago I was also diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disease. I take Lithium and Trileptal. No more alcohol, gain some weight (beer belly now) some memory loss and a few other minor issues. I still have some problems: mini-mania and some minor depression. Other than that I seem to be better. I need to work out though. I have done quite a bit of investigation on depression and bipolar.

  • April 25, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Hi all! I have been on at least 10 different medications in 10 years, and the best and by far most tolerable (though not ideal) has been Trileptal. This has kept me together! For two years now I have been very close to having only minor mood swings with this medication, and I take the maximum allowable dosage. No problems besides dizziness, focus and concentration issues, which in balance, are not too hard to deal with, considering the alternatives!

  • July 24, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Surprised no one has mentioned tremors. I’m manic depressive. Began taking this in 2003 as alternative to Depakote, which made me dopey and 15 pounds heavier. While 900 mg/day worked well, in 2005 went to Lamictal (400 mg), and Lamictal has been incredible: softened highs and lows, esp effective preventing depression. However, added back Trileptal in 2006 (300 mg) during esp. stressful time. The combination of lam’tal and tri’tal worked, but w/in a year Trileptal (seasonal from 600-900 mg) has caused tremors that are embarassing, and I’m now hoping to get off the drug and go with just Lamictal.

  • August 26, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I was just diagnosed with Bipolar and ADHD. I am on Trileptal and feel great other than if I even dare to lay down I am OUT!!!!! No problem sleeping now that for sure. My question is though any one experiance weight gain on this medicine????

  • September 19, 2009 at 3:01 am

    I would encourage y’all to start looking for alternatives to the drugs. I was depressed for 14 yrs and briefly tried drugs, then went a nutritional route, followed by Vipassana meditation (www.dhamma.org). Cured now 25 yrs. There are a lot of “orthomolecular” approaches now. Just read about Omega-3 oil; a good source being fish oil.

    Particularly once you have stabilized on the drugs its a good time to look for alternatives before the deleterious effects on your health build up.
    all the best.

    • December 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Wow thank you

  • December 11, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I take 1500-1800 mg daily. Originally diagnosed for BP II, I was rediagnosed explosive dis. and with this med, all others were dropped. The side effects are experienced as above, but the benefits outweigh the downside. Just be careful of the hyponatremia… it is wicked of you overdose. ouch.

    I feel so ‘normal’ since 2005. Few blood tests.

  • December 11, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Many ‘bipolars’ may not be so polar upon further study. I had many of the symptoms, but in the end, if you control the mania with trileptal it stops the cascading effect and all the other cycling symptoms literally abate within two weeks.
    There are so many causes for bipolar reactions, but if you get your brain mapped with eeg and the high activity is right down the middle of the corpus collosum, trileptal has helped other patients (and me). The sypmtoms resulting from the extreme activity in this part of the brain responds to trileptal in other patients, as explained by my doctor, Dr. Arnold Carter, in miami, FL.
    I moved and wonder if he’s still in practice down there. I feel an obligation to tell others what he told me.

  • December 13, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I have just been diagnosed as being bipolar as well as having borderline personality disorder. I have been taking 20 mg of paxil a day for months now and my current DR took me off of that and put me on 300mg of trileptal a day. I am currently struggling with what they call paxil withdrawl and i feel terrible. I’ve been on the trileptal for going on two weeks and notice no change in how I feel what so ever. Should I give it more time? Could the paxil withdrawl be keeping me from feeling the effect of it?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.


  • December 29, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Someone please help my situation! i have been struggling with bi polar & hyper sensitivity!! every medication ive took for instance lamotrigene, depakote, & buspar @ the lowest dosage they made me feel so high and my mind & body could not tolerate! i am suffering so bad because i dont know what to do! My doctor said that my mind handles medication like a infant! i take the lowest dosage possible & im high i cant even walk right! anyone have an answer to this? it would really be a miracle if anyone can help. ive been praying,looking for answers & i keep trying for yrs now. thanks for your time. im just hanging in there by a thread! by the way i am 25.

    • November 8, 2013 at 12:18 am

      Change Doctors! Dr. Rajani Ravindra They could City Florida. She can help youShe can help you wish you the best.


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