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Trigeminal Neuralgia (Facial Nerve Pain) (cont.)

Medical Treatment

Trigeminal neuralgia is extremely painful but not life threatening. Thus, a goal of therapy is minimizing dangerous side effects.

Medications used to treat trigeminal neuralgia are those used for many other nerve pain syndromes-drugs originally designed to treat seizures.

These antiseizure agents suppress excessive nerve tissue activity, which is the cause of the painful syndrome. As a result, they are useful in conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia.

Pain specialists use invasive therapy, including nerve blocks, nerve destruction, and nerve decompression techniques, as well as drug therapy to treat trigeminal neuralgia.

  • In some instances, a single injection, or a series of injections, or perhaps one decompressive procedure, will reduce or eliminate the pain and prevent your need for a long course of drug therapy.
  • Injection techniques also can relieve unremitting pain instantly and further confirm the diagnosis.
  • Using real-time X-rays, doctors can target the anatomical origin of the nerve deep in your skull. Then, with a fine needle, they can do one of the following to halt the painful syndrome:
    • Inject that source with anesthetic and steroid.
    • Inject that nerve with a drug used to destroy faulty cells.
    • This procedure can be performed with surprisingly little discomfort.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2014
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