Eslicarbazepine acetate is a medicine that has been approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration as a monotherapy and adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures.

  • Eslicarbazepine acetate will be available in brand form only (Aptiom®).

  • The dose of eslicarbazepine acetate may vary depending on a number of factors, including other medications you may be taking. It is important to follow the exact directions given to you by your doctor.

  • Always check the appearance of the tablets with the pharmacist when the prescription is filled to be certain you are given the right medication.

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200 mg White oblong tablet labeled ESL 200

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400 mg White circular bi-convex tablet labeled ESL 400

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600 mg White oblong tablet labeled ESL 600

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800 mg White oblong tablet labeled ESL 800

Used to treat

  • Complex Partial Seizures
  • Simple Partial Seizures
How to take and store Eslicarbazepine Acetate?

To take tablets:

  • Can be taken whole or as crushed tablets.

  • Drink a small glass of water or liquid.

  • This medicine can be taken with or without food. Try to take it the same way each day.

How should I store my medicine? 

Store the medicine at room temperature (25°C or 77°F), away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep all medicine out of reach of children. Don’t keep it in the bathroom, glove box of a car, or where children can easily find them, such as in purses, on low cabinets or on counter tops for example.

What if I forget?

What should I do if I miss a dose? If you miss or forget a dose take it as soon as possible. However, if you have missed a dose and it is within a few hours of your next dose, take only the next scheduled dose. Do not double up or take extra medicine, unless instructed to do so by your doctor.

How can I remember to take my medication?

  • Take medicine at the same time each day.

  • Take at the same time as some other routine, such as brushing teeth, after meals, or bedtime.

  • Use a pillbox so you can check if you have taken a dose.

  • Use an alarm to remind you of times to take a dose.

  • Keep a written schedule or chart of when to take the medicine.

  • Talk to your doctor or health care provider about problems remembering the medicine.

How does the body digest Eslicarbazepine Acetate?

It may take a number of weeks or months to find the right dose, and then more time may be needed to know how well the medicine works to control your seizures. How long this takes will be different for each person. It may depend on how often you have seizures, what other medicine you may be taking, and how your body responds to the drug.

See the package insert for more information.

What are the most common side effects of Eslicarbazepine Acetate?

Side effects may occur with any medicine. Some will go away on their own or when the dose of medicine is changed. Others may be more serious and mean that your body is not tolerating the drug. Tell your doctor about all side effects that occur, but do not stop taking the medicine without advice from your doctor. The most common side effects of eslicarbazepine acetate include dizziness, somnolence, nausea, headache, diplopia, vomiting, fatigue, vertigo, ataxia, blurred vision and tremor.

Some side effects improve over time. If a side effect is difficult to manage or doesn’t go away, talk to your doctor.

What are the most serious side effects of Eslicarbazepine Acetate?

Rash: Not all rashes are caused by the medicine, but all rashes should be immediately reported to your doctor and checked out. Rashes that may be more serious usually begin in the first few weeks, but can happen at any time while you are on the drug. Serious rashes may have the following symptoms and require immediate evaluation:

  • Blisters or sores in mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and genital area.
  • Swelling of eyelids or red eyes.
  • Red spots or patches on skin.
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms that do not go away

Allergic reaction: May be seen with symptoms such as hives or large red spots on the body, itching, difficulty breathing or closing of the throat.

Call your doctor right away if any side effects are severe or cause problems in your ability to function, or if you have any of the following problems while taking the medicine: staggering walk, confusion, rash, or allergic reaction.

Do not stop the medicine without talking to your doctor first.

Can Eslicarbazepine Acetate be taken with other medicines?

Make sure to tell all your health care providers the names of all medicines, herbal or dietary supplements, vitamins, and over- the-counter medicines you are taking. Some of these medicines may interfere with how eslicarbazepine acetate works and lower or raise the amount in your system. This medicine may also affect how other medicines work.

Some medicines that may interact with eslicarbazepine acetate include: oral contraceptives and other anti-epileptic medications such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone and phenobarbital.

Eslicarbazepine acetate should not be taken with oxcarbazepine.

Impact of Eslicarbazepine Acetate on bone health

Some seizure medicines may cause thinning of the bones. While eslicarbazepine acetate is not known to cause bone problems, all people taking seizure medicine should take calcium and vitamin D supplements each day. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are also very important. People who have thinning of the bones may also need prescription medicine to treat this. Talk to your doctor about how to check the health of your bones and what to do next.

If a woman takes Eslicarbazepine Acetate during pregnancy will it hurt the baby?

Is this medicine safe to take during pregnancy? Eslicarbazepine acetate has an FDA pregnancy category of “C,” meaning that eslicarbazepine acetate should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

If you find or suspect that you may be pregnant, continue taking the medicine and contact your doctor right away. Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks before making any decisions about use of this medicine. Seizures can be harmful to the mother and developing baby, but these can be lessened with proper care.

Does this medicine affect birth control pills? Eslicarbazepine acetate may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. Talk to your doctor if you start or stop any hormonal birth control while taking this medicine. Other forms of birth control, such as barrier methods, may be suggested. Call your doctor if you have any signs of breakthrough bleeding or symptoms of pregnancy.

Will the medicine affect my menstrual cycle? This medicine should not affect the menstrual cycle. If your cycle becomes irregular, call your doctor.

Can I breast feed while taking this medicine? Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from eslicarbazeping acetate, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Are there any specific vitamins I should be taking? All women who could possibly get pregnant should take at least 0.4 milligrams (mg) of folic acid or folate each day. Doctors may recommend that women with epilepsy taking seizure medicine take a higher dose of folic acid, up to 4 mg a day. Speak to your health care provider for specific instructions. Folic acid is also found in leafy dark green vegetables, fruits and juices, and lentils.

Read the package insert of Eslicarbazepine Acetate

In the United States, companies that manufacture medicines are required to publish certain kinds of information about each product. This document is commonly known as a “package insert” because it is usually included with each package of the medicine.

You can also read these documents (also called "prescribing information") online. The U.S. package insert for Aptiom (Eslicarbazepine acetate) is found at:

Some of the information may differ in other countries.

To learn how to read and understand a package insert, see "How to read a package insert."