A new guideline developed by the AAN finds that surgery should be considered for people who suffer from extreme, electric shock-like pain in their face and do not respond well to drugs. The guideline on treating trigeminal neuralgia, developed in partnership with the European Federation of Neurological Societies, has been published in the August 20, 2008, online issue of Neurology®.
The guideline recommends the drug carbamazepine be offered as a first-line treatment for people with trigeminal neuralgia, and oxcarbazepine should be considered. Physicians may consider sending all patients with trigeminal neuralgia for MRI or trigeminal reflex testing, since up to 15 percent of patients have an underlying structural cause of the disorder, such as a tumor.
Read the full guideline or download copies of the guideline summaries for clinicians and patients.