Trigeminal Neuralgia

  • Medical Author:
    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.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    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.

Dementia Quiz

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 Jon Glass, MD; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCE:

The International Classification of Headache Disorders: 2nd edition. Cephalalgia. 2004; 24 Suppl 1:9-160.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2015
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