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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a problem with your trigeminal nerve that causes severe facial pain. You have a trigeminal nerve on each side of your face. The nerves allow you to feel pain, touch, and temperature changes in different areas of your face.
Do not stop taking your medicines without talking with your healthcare provider first. You can have a bad reaction if you stop your TN medicines suddenly. You may need any of the following:
- Anticonvulsants: These control seizures, help prevent pain attacks, and decrease symptoms.
- Antidepressants: These decrease pain and help prevent depression.
- Muscle relaxers: When your facial muscles are relaxed, you may be less likely to have pain attacks.
- Pain medicines: You may be given pain medicines if your facial pain is severe.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to have blood tests to check your blood levels of certain medicines. Ask how often you need to return to have these blood tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your trigeminal neuralgia:
Even if you have not had symptoms for a long time, keep your medicines nearby. If your symptoms return, contact your healthcare provider before you start to take your medicines again.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- The medicines you are taking are not decreasing your pain.
- You feel worried and depressed and find it hard to do your daily activities.
- You have headaches, mouth sores, an upset stomach, or diarrhea.
- Your pain feels worse, different, or moves to another area of your face.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a fever, stiff neck, or you develop a skin rash or peeling skin.
- You have clear or yellow fluid leaking from your procedure or surgery site.
- You are feeling so depressed you want to harm yourself.
- You are confused and cannot think clearly.
- You are not eating or drinking, and you are losing weight.
- You have eye pain, eye numbness, or sudden vision or hearing changes.
- You have sudden dizziness, problems with movement, weakness, or numbness in your face.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.