Posted by: anonymous | 2008-12-04

Trigeminal neuralgia

My doctor diagnosed tn and I wondered if tegretol will take the
headaches away aswell as the facial pain

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Anonymous,

Trigeminal neuralgia is a very specific diagnosis, and should be diagnosed by an expert. Often, patients are diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, when in reality there is some other cause of their pain. As tegritol can have unwanted side effects, you should get an expert opinion before proceeding with the drug.

Tegritol may well help with facial pain, but the best way to handle facial pain is to have the cause properly diagnosed, and not just to rely on a potentially harmful drug. With regard to your headaches, tegritol is certainly not indicated - to get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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