Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: trigeminal | neuralgia | pain | treatment | relief | carbatrol | tegretol

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 03:45 PM

Question: My daughter has been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. She says it is the most pain she has ever suffered, including childbirth. What does the future hold for her?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
A variety of treatment options are available, and having trigeminal neuralgia doesn't mean that you have to put up with the severe shooting facial pain associated with the condition. Doctors usually can effectively manage trigeminal neuralgia with medications, injections, or surgery. Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol) is the drug most commonly prescribed; other anticonvulsant drugs include oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), lamotrigine (Lamictal), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), and gabapentin (Neurontin). Antispasmodic muscle-relaxing agents such as baclofen may be used alone or in combination with carbamazepine or phenytoin.
Injecting alcohol into the part of your face corresponding to the trigeminal nerve branch causing pain provides pain relief. Injecting glycerol at the nerve root to provide pain relief is another option. Balloon compression technique also controls pain in most people, at least for a while. A much more safer and effective method being employed now is the focused, high dose of radiation to the root of the trigeminal nerve called gamma-knife radiosurgery (GKR). Another procedure eases pain by damaging the nerve fibers with electric current (radiofrequency thermal rhizotomy).

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Trigeminal neuralgia can cause excruciating pain, but there are a variety of treatments.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 03:45 PM
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