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Tic Douloureux

Tic Douloureux Treatment continued...

Medication is at least partly effective for 80% -to 90% of the people who suffer with tic douloureux. For the rest, drug therapy either fails to provide adequate pain control or adverse side effects are intolerable. Unfortunately, many people who initially respond to anticonvulsants eventually develop resistance to the medications.

Surgery

When pain cannot be controlled with medication, surgical options should be discussed with a neurosurgeon. Surgery could range from simple injections of anesthetic into the trigeminal nerve to complex procedures that must be performed in the operating room. In general, the more complex procedures provide longer-lasting pain relief but with greater potential for more serious complications.

 

Next Steps

Follow-up

If you are diagnosed with tic douloureux, your doctor may refer you to a neurologist or neurosurgeon for management of the pain.

Some of the medications used to treat tic douloureux may affect your blood counts and liver function, so it is important to have these levels monitored as instructed by your doctor.

After surgery, watch for signs of infection such as redness, discharge, or fever.

Prevention

Tic douloureux cannot be prevented.

Outlook

Although pain from tic douloureux can go away without treatment for months to years, the disorder is usually progressive. Attacks can become more frequent over time. There are no long-term medical consequences of the disorder. Tic douloureux is purely a pain syndrome.

The pain of tic douloureux can almost always be controlled with either medication or surgery.

Most people with tic douloureux lead full, complete lives.

Synonyms and Keywords

tic douloureux, trigeminal neuralgia, facial pain

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WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 06, 2014

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