6 Treating The Incurable
Given the long history of trigeminal neuralgia, it is surprising that viable treatment options for the condition have only been discovered within the last century. Once the disorder was linked to neurological origins, doctorswere able to more effectively develop medical interventions.
Since it is a nerve condition, traditional painkillers like NSAIDs and opioids do not touch the pain. Anticonvulsant and seizure medications like gabapentin and Trileptal are the first line of defense.
They work in about 80 percent of the cases. However, patients report difficult side effects and often have to increase their doses over time to maintain the efficacy of the drugs. Other pharmaceutical options include Lamictal and Baclofen to augment the effects of the anticonvulsants.
When the medication doesn’t work on its own (and it often doesn’t), TN patients have a number of surgical options. The most common is microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery. This procedure was developed by Walter Dandy in 1925 and has quickly come to be the most popular of the TN surgical options.