Oxcarbazepine May Be Helpful In Pediatric Mania

January 10, 2011 · Posted in Current Treatments, Peer-Reviewed Published Data 

Oxcarbazepine (OXC; Trileptal) is a close structural relative of carbamazepine (CBZ; Tegretol; Equetro), but unlike CBZ, OXC is not an enzyme inducer, nor does it have CBZ’s risks of rare agranulocytosis or aplastic anemia.

Wagner et al.’s report on OXC in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2006 is typically cited as evidence the drug is ineffective for pediatric mania.  But observe the figure:

Oxcarbazepine in Pediatric Mania

While this was true of OXC’s efficacy in adolescents (due to a large placebo response—see rightmost column), OXC worked significantly better than placebo in children ages 7-12. These younger children often have more chronic presentations and BP-NOS.  This may explain the low placebo response rate in the younger children.

Oxcarbazepine is considered helpful by many clinicians (See Post and Wozniak’s survey of expert treatment approaches to childhood illness, published in Psychiatric Annals in 2009) and should not be dismissed altogether.


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