A new study says that botulinum toxin can be useful in the treatment of the intense facial pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia. Botulinum or botox as it is popularly known has already found extensive use in the treatment of migraines and eye spasms.
Researchers in Brazil and the United states studied the effects of botulinum on the neuralgia and have detailed their findings in a study published in the October 25, 2005, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Botulinum toxin type A was given to 13 patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, which is a condition that causes severe facial pain that is triggered by talking, brushing teeth, or swallowing. The condition is characterized by sudden, severe, stabbing, or shock-like pain usually felt on one side of the jaw or cheek.
In the current study, it was found that pain decreased within 10 days of a botox injection. Patients were almost symptom-free by 20 days. Within 2 months, 4 patients had stopped taking their anti-convulsant medication, while the rest had reduced their dosages by half.
'Drugs are not always effective in treating trigeminal neuralgia. Some patients avoid them because of side effects, and then their pain is more intense and longer-lasting,' said Elcio Juliato Piovesan, MD, a neurologist at the Hospital of Clinics at Federal University of Parana in Curitiba, Brazil. 'A placebo-controlled clinical trial is needed to confirm our findings, including a follow-up period longer than 60 days. ' The researchers found no side effects as a result of the botox.
Medindia on Trigeminal neuralgia:
In ancient times, this condition was thought to be related to the teeth since there was an association of horrible toothaches with it. However, after the unnecessary extractions of numerous teeth failed to cure the condition, it has been treated as a separate entity.