Trigeminal Neuralgia (Facial Nerve Pain) (cont.)
Doctors use 3 main drugs to treat trigeminal neuralgia-baclofen (Lioresal), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and phenytoin (Dilantin).
- Baclofen is the safest of the 3, though less effective. Many doctors begin therapy with baclofen and monitor its results over a week's time.
- For years, carbamazepine had been the mainstay for treating this disorder. In fact, many experts believe that if you get no relief from 2 days of carbamazepine treatment, doctors must reconsider the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia.
- The side effects of this drug include dizziness, sedation, confusion, and rash.
- The doctor likely will complete a series of blood
and urine tests before beginning treatment to establish a baseline of
- Carbamazepine in unusual instances causes a rare blood disease known as aplastic anemia.
- Frequent blood monitoring avoids this problem. You can expect to take consistent doses of this medicine for about 6 months before your doctor reconsiders the dosing schedule.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Must Read Articles Related to Trigeminal Neuralgia (Facial Nerve Pain)
Chronic pain is pain that persists for a period of six months or longer, and is the result of a long-standing medical condition(s) or damage to the body. Common...learn more >>
CT was discovered independently by a British engineer named Sir Godfrey Hounsfield and Dr. Alan Cormack. It has become a mainstay for diagnosing med...learn more >>
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scanner that takes cross-sectional images of the body. It is used to evaluate tissues of the head, neck, chest, limbs, abd...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Trigeminal Neuralgia (Facial Nerve Pain):