Trigeminal neuralgia



Trigeminal neuralgia

Nervous system

Autonomic nervous system disorders

Horner syndrome

Orthostatic hypotension


Trigeminal neuralgia


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

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Trigeminal neuralgia

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 55-year-old woman comes to the office due to 2 months of episodic jaw pain. She describes sharp shooting, “shock like” pain over the left side of her jaw that typically lasts for a few seconds. She has noticed a few times that the pain has occurred while she was eating dinner, and once while she was brushing her teeth. Physical examination shows no abnormalities. The patient is started on the first line medication for her condition. During her one month follow-up appointment, she states that her symptoms have improved significantly, but she describes feeling some dizziness and instability. Which of the following is the mechanism of action of the medication being used by this patient?  

External References

First Aid









trigeminal neuralgia p. 726

Trigeminal neuralgia p. 536

treatment p. 726


Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as prosopalgia, tic douloureux, or Fothergill's disease, is a neuropathic disorder characterized by episodes of intense pain in the face. It has been described as among the most painful conditions known. The pain originates from a variety of different locations on the face and may be felt in front of the ear, eye, lips, nose, scalp, forehead, cheeks, mouth, or jaw, and side of the face.

Trigeminal neuralgia is often caused by compression or irritation of the trigeminal nerve, although the exact cause is not always clear. Treatment options for trigeminal neuralgia include medication, such as anticonvulsants or muscle relaxants, or surgical procedures such as microvascular decompression, radiofrequency ablation, or stereotactic radiosurgery.


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