Historical note and terminology
Oxcarbazepine is a homologue of the well-known antiepileptic drug carbamazepine. It was developed as an alternative to carbamazepine for patients who had adverse reaction to carbamazepine or diphenylhydantoin. Despite its structural similarities, oxcarbazepine differs from carbamazepine in pharmacokinetic behavior, biotransformation profile, and interaction potential. Oxcarbazepine is similar to carbamazepine in its mechanisms of action and antiepileptic efficacy but has better tolerability and fewer interactions with other drugs. Most of the clinical development took place during the early 1990s, when it received approval in several countries. It was approved by the FDA in 1999. In 2003, the FDA approved oxcarbazepine as a monotherapy in children 4 years or older with partial epilepsy. This is the first epilepsy medication in 25 years to be approved for use as monotherapy in children.
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