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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 381-384

Early response to medical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia in a Nigerian population


Department of Oral Pathology and Medicine, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Mercy Okoh
Department of Oral Pathology and Medicine, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.171618

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Background: This study evaluates the clinical profile of patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and correlates the findings with early response of the patients to medical treatment. Patients and Methods: A 4-year prospective study in which patients diagnosed of TN were treated medically and followed up weekly for 8 weeks to determine early treatment outcome, in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. Results: Of the 287 patients seen during the study period, a total of 14 (4.9%) patients were diagnosed of TN. Thirteen (4.5%) of the cases were selected based on compliance to the 8-week follow-up visits, consisting of 8 (61.5%) males and 5 (38.5%) females, giving a ratio of 1.6:1. The mean age of the patients was 50±1.5 years. The mandibular (n = 6, 46.2%) and maxillary (n = 5, 38.5%) divisions of the trigeminal nerve were mostly affected. The lesion was slightly more common on the right side of the face (n = 7, 53.8%) than the left side (n = 6, 46.2%). Talking (n=4, 30.8%) and chewing (n = 3, 23.1%) were the most frequent trigger factors. The patients mostly described the pain as severe, spontaneous, and sharp (n = 5, 38.2%). Most patients became stable on tablets carbamazepine 200 mg 12 hourly, folic acid 5 mg daily, and phenytoin 100 mg daily. Good response was observed in most patients within 2 weeks (n = 6, 46.2%) of medical treatment, especially in patients at the seventh decade of age (n = 3, 23.1%) and those with lesions involving the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve (n = 3, 23.1%). Conclusion: This study shows early response of TN to medical treatment. We recommend combination therapy of carbamazepine and folic acid in the treatment of patients, especially elderly patients with lesions involving the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve.


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