Last update June 21, 2022


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

A derivative of carbamazepine with a very similar chemical structure and therapeutic action. It is used in the treatment of certain epilepsies, bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain. It is rapidly and extensively metabolised to licarbazepine (MHD), its active metabolite.

It is excreted in breast milk in clinically insignificant amount (Chen 2017, Lutz 2007, Bülau 1988) and no problems have been observed in infants whose mothers have taken it. (Lutz 2007, Tomson 2007, Eisenschenk 2006, Gentile 2003, Bulau 1988)

Plasma levels in these infants were very low, less than 15% of maternal plasma levels. (Birnbaum 2020, Chen 2017, Öhman 2009, Lutz 2007)

A mother told us in 2016 that she took Trileptal during pregnancy and 9 months of breastfeeding and her son had no problems.

A 12-hour neonate who developed neonatal abstinence syndrome (irritability, muscle hypertonia) after intrauterine exposure to oxcarbazepine improved after being breastfed. (Chen 2017)

Given the proven benefits of breastfeeding and despite the fact that there is a lack of reports on the safety of oxcarbazepine, several expert authors consider it possible to take during breastfeeding. (Hale, LactMed, Uguz 2021 & 2016, Briggs 2015, Reimers 2014, Davanzo 2013, Bar-Oz 2000)

Furthermore, as an integral and important part of the experience of motherhood, the American Academy of Neurology and the American Academy of Pediatrics advise that mothers undergoing anti-epileptic treatment can breastfeed. (Pack 2006)

Plasma levels of oxcarbazepine and its metabolite MHD decrease slightly during pregnancy and increase significantly in the immediate postpartum period. Therefore, close monitoring of these levels is required to adjust the dosage of the drug. (Mazzucchelli 2006)

See below the information of these related products:

  • Carbamazepine ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Maternal Epilepsy (Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.)


Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Oxcarbazepine in other languages or writings:


Oxcarbazepine belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Oxcarbazepine in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 100 %
Molecular weight 252 daltons
Protein Binding 40 %
VD 0.7 l/Kg
pKa 13.18 -
Tmax 4.5 hours
2 - 9 hours
M/P ratio 0.5 - 0.7 -
Theoretical Dose 0.43 - 1.56 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 1.5 - 1.7 %


  1. Hale TW. Medications & Mothers' Milk. 1991- . Springer Publishing Company. Available from Consulted on March 17, 2022 Full text (link to original source)
  2. LactMed. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Internet. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Available from: 2006 - Consulted on March 15, 2022 Full text (link to original source)
  3. Uguz F. A New Safety Scoring System for the Use of Psychotropic Drugs During Lactation. Am J Ther. 2021 Jan-Feb 01;28(1):e118-e126. Abstract
  4. Birnbaum AK, Meador KJ, Karanam A, Brown C, May RC, Gerard EE, Gedzelman ER, Penovich PE, Kalayjian LA, Cavitt J, Pack AM, Miller JW, Stowe ZN, Pennell PB; MONEAD Investigator Group.. Antiepileptic Drug Exposure in Infants of Breastfeeding Mothers With Epilepsy. JAMA Neurol. 2020 Apr 1;77(4):441-450. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  5. Crettenand M, Rossetti AO, Buclin T, Winterfeld U. [Use of antiepileptic drugs during breastfeeding : What do we tell the mother?] Nervenarzt. 2018 Abstract
  6. Chen CY, Li X, Ma LY, Wu PH, Zhou Y, Feng Q, Cui YM. In Utero Oxcarbazepine Exposure and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Case Report and Brief Review of the Literature. Pharmacotherapy. 2017 Abstract
  7. Uguz F, Sharma V. Mood stabilizers during breastfeeding: a systematic review of the recent literature. Bipolar Disord. 2016 Abstract
  8. Veiby G, Bjørk M, Engelsen BA, Gilhus NE. Epilepsy and recommendations for breastfeeding. Seizure. 2015 May;28:57-65. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  9. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Towers CV, Forinash AB. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk. Wolters Kluwer Health. Tenth edition (acces on line) 2015
  10. Reimers A. New antiepileptic drugs and women. Seizure. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Davanzo R, Dal Bo S, Bua J, Copertino M, Zanelli E, Matarazzo L. Antiepileptic drugs and breastfeeding. Ital J Pediatr. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Rapcencu AE, Lindhout D, Bulk S. Frequently asked questions on epilepsy, pregnancy and lactation: a EURAP-NL report. Seizure. 2012 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Öhman I, Tomson T. Pharmacokinetics of oxcarbazine in neonatal period and during lactation. Epilepsia. 2009;50 (Suppl 4):239. Abstract E700. 2009 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Lutz UC, Wiatr G, Gaertner HJ, Bartels M. Oxcarbazepine treatment during breast-feeding: a case report. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2007 Abstract
  15. Tomson T, Palm R, Källén K, Ben-Menachem E, Söderfeldt B, Danielsson B, Johansson R, Luef G, Ohman I. Pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam during pregnancy, delivery, in the neonatal period, and lactation. Epilepsia. 2007 Jun;48(6):1111-6. Epub 2007 Mar 22. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  16. Eisenschenk S. Treatment with oxcarbazepine during pregnancy. Neurologist. 2006 Abstract
  17. Mazzucchelli I, Onat FY, Ozkara C, Atakli D, Specchio LM, Neve AL, Gatti G, Perucca E. Changes in the disposition of oxcarbazepine and its metabolites during pregnancy and the puerperium. Epilepsia. 2006 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  18. Pack AM. Therapy insight: clinical management of pregnant women with epilepsy. Nat Clin Pract Neurol. 2006 Abstract
  19. Tomson T. Gender aspects of pharmacokinetics of new and old AEDs: pregnancy and breast-feeding. Ther Drug Monit. 2005 Abstract
  20. Montouris G. Safety of the newer antiepileptic drug oxcarbazepine during pregnancy. Curr Med Res Opin. 2005 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  21. Gentile S. Oxcarbazepine in pregnancy and lactation. Clin Drug Investig. 2003 Abstract
  22. Bar-Oz B, Nulman I, Koren G, Ito S. Anticonvulsants and breast feeding: a critical review. Paediatr Drugs. 2000 Mar-Apr;2(2):113-26. Review. Abstract
  23. Bülau P, Paar WD, von Unruh GE. Pharmacokinetics of oxcarbazepine and 10-hydroxy-carbazepine in the newborn child of an oxcarbazepine-treated mother. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1988 Abstract

Total visits


Help us improve this entry

How to cite this entry

Do you need more information or did not found what you were looking for?

   Write us at

e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Confederación Nacional de Pediatría (CONAPEME) of Mexico

Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM