What is the role of dextromethorphan in 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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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is also investigating the use of dextromethorphan in doses much higher than those used in over-the-counter cough preparations. A randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial compared 6 weeks of oral dextromethorphan with active placebo (low-dose lorazepam) in 19 patients, stratified into 3 groups: 11 with facial pain and possible trigeminal neuropathy, 5 with anesthesia dolorosa, and 3 with idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. [47] Dosage was titrated in each patient to the highest level reached without disrupting normal activities.

Dextromethorphan shows little or no analgesic efficacy in pain due to possible trigeminal neuropathy and anesthesia dolorosa. Additional trials are necessary to conclusively evaluate the efficacy of NMDA-receptor antagonists in trigeminal neuralgia.

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