REVIEW – November 2018

Treatment of trigeminal neuralgia

Authors: Triin Helin Unt

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Abstract

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a common cause of facial pain in neurologic practice. It is characterized by short electric shocklike pains in one or more divisions of the trigeminal nerve, lasting from a few seconds up to 2 minutes. The age at onset is usually 40–60 years. The incidence is approximately 4–27 per 100 000 and the condition is more common in women. This reviw article focuses on both the medications and surgical methods that are used for treating TN. Carbamazepine 200–1200 mg/day and oxcarbazepine 600–1800 mg/day are considered the first line treatments. Surgical interventions are reserved for patients who do not respond to adequate medical therapy or experience intolerable side-effects. Microvascular decompression, percutaneous rhizotomy and gamma knife have also shown efficiency in TN treatment. Neuromodulation has been investigated as a possible treatment option.