Article Text


Long-term treatment of trigeminal neuralgia with carbamazepine.
  1. J. C. Taylor,
  2. S. Brauer,
  3. M. L. Espir


    The results of treating 143 patients with trigeminal neuralgia with carbamazepine (CBZ) over a 16-year period have been reviewed. The drug was effective initially with few mild side effects in 99 patients (69%). Of these, 19 developed resistance later, i.e. between 2 months and 10 years after commencing treatment, and required alternative measures. Of the remaining 80 (56%), the drug was effective in 49 for 1-4 years and in 31 for 5-16 years. Thirty-six patients (25%) failed to respond to CBZ initially and required alternative measures, as did 8 (6%) who were intolerant of the drug. One patient developed CBZ-induced water intoxication with hyponatraemia. Subsequently hyponatraemia was excluded in 17 patients who had been taking CBZ for between 4 months and 7 years. This study has thus confirmed the efficacy of CBZ in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and shown that it may continue to be effective for many years.

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