What are the potential risks of antiepileptic drugs for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (TN)?

Updated: Jul 11, 2019
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Answer

According to Dalessio, medications work by interrupting the temporal summation of afferent impulses that precipitate the attack. [28]

Anticonvulsant medications pose risks of sedation and ataxia, particularly in elderly patients, which may make driving or operating machinery hazardous. They also may pose risks to the liver and the hematologic system. Thus, documentation of patient education about these potential risks is important.

Patients also need to understand that medications for trigeminal neuralgia are only palliative and often are of limited and temporary value. They also must be informed thoroughly of the risks involved with neurosurgical interventions, including anesthesia dolorosa.


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