I work with a woman who was just diagnosed without an exam or tests to have Trigeminal Neuralgia. Her symptoms are as follows:
1. Pains in the back of her head (Sharp)
2. Sharp pains around her left ear (under and next to it only on the left side.)
3. Has a history of pain in her jaw and problems with chewing in the past.
The problem being is that they have put her on Tegretal and told her she will be on it for six weeks. No other talk about what else could be the problem.
She is going out of town and doesn't have time to go another doctor for a second opinion and is very upset and concerned that they have put her on this strong med and left her to live with it.
I'm not sure what to tell her to do. My first instinct is it sounds like TMJD symptoms, but she needs to see someone asap. I thought she should hit the ER and play dumb to any prior treatment or diagnosis so she can have xrays etc....
Any thoughts? Advice? What type of meds could she get over the counter to tide her over until next week? She'll be out of town Wed. thru Sunday for work so she has to be on her game while she's gone too...
Any input would be greatly appreciated!
From what I've read, a true Trigeminal Neuralgia is not a common condition. TMJD can cause nerve pain.
The Trigeminal Nerves can be compressed by muscles, muscle spasms, damaged surgically, or irritated by other diseases.
Mine were surgically damaged and I was offered Tegretol. I had to have blood work and a liver work-up, BEFORE I could take it and was told these tests would be repeated often to insure that the drug was not causing serious problems. It's really rough on your liver. I decided not to take it.
It sounds like this diagnosis was made rather hastily and the proper tests were not done beforehand. It is a very strong drug and can have severe side effects.
I personally would try something else and I'm not sure what to tell you to do. I believe this is not a drug that should be just handed out like Tylenol.
This kind of pain is not easy to deal with. Your idea of a visit to the ER might get her something to take until she can have the proper test.
I was hoping you'd respond! Thanks. Come to find out, she's been wearing a bite plate for years and it's not been adjusted. What a lousy doctor! He didn't ask anything!
She's going to get on this site and read up a little to educate herself and then I'm going to try to find a general TMJ splint guy to check her out when she returns. My guys won't be much good to her...
I can't believe this jerk writes a script for six weeks worth of that strong medicine and says call if you have any problems! DUH!
[Edited for cuss words. We are trying to reduce profanity on healthboards. Thanks for your cooperation - Well-come Moderator.]
[This message has been edited by Well-come (edited 04-23-2003).]