Trigeminal Neuralgia (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Introduction to trigeminal neuralgia
- What is trigeminal neuralgia?
- What causes trigeminal neuralgia?
- What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?
- How is trigeminal neuralgia diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for trigeminal neuralgia?
What is the treatment for trigeminal neuralgia?
- Idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia most often is treated with good success using a single anticonvulsant medication such as carbamazepine (Tegretol).
- Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gabarone), baclofen and phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin-125) may be used as second line drugs, often in addition to carbamazepine. In many patients, as time progresses, carbamazepine becomes less effective and these drugs can be used in combination to control the pain.
- Should pain persist and medication fail to be effective, surgery or radiation therapy may be other treatment options.
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal) may be prescribed for multiple sclerosis patients who develop trigeminal neuralgia.
Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology
The International Classification of Headache Disorders: 2nd edition. Cephalalgia. 2004; 24 Suppl 1:9-160.
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