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Trigeminal neuralgia
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Trigeminal neuralgia

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Treatment

Medications are the typical initial treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. Medications are often effective in lessening or blocking the pain signals sent to your brain. A number of drugs are available. If you stop responding to a particular medication or experience too many side effects, there's always the potential to switch to another one.

The medications used to treat trigeminal neuralgia include:

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol). Carbamazepine, an anticonvulsant drug, is the most common medication used to treat trigeminal neuralgia. In the early stages of the disease, carbamazepine controls pain for the majority of people. However, the effectiveness of carbamazepine decreases over time. Side effects include dizziness, double vision, sleepiness and nausea.

  • Baclofen (Lioresal). Baclofen is a muscle relaxant. Its effectiveness may increase when it's used in combination with carbamazepine or phenytoin. Side effects include confusion, mental depression and severe drowsiness.

  • Phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytex). Phenytoin, another anticonvulsant medication, was the first medication used to treat trigeminal neuralgia. Its effectiveness may increase when it's used in combination with carbamazepine or baclofen. Side effects include severe drowsiness.

  • Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal). Oxcarbazepine is an antiseizure medication. Side effects include dizziness and double vision.

Some people with trigeminal neuralgia eventually stop responding to their medications or they experience side effects. For those people, surgery — or a combination of surgery and medications — may be an option.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:30 AM