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The purpose of this review was to assess the effects of non‐antiepileptic drugs in trigeminal neuralgia.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Trigeminal neuralgia is defined as "sudden usually unilateral severe brief stabbing recurrent pains in the distribution of one or more branches of the fifth cranial nerve". It has an incidence rate of 12.6 per 100,000 person years and more commonly affects older age groups. The fifth cranial nerve is one of the largest in the head. The nerve is called trigeminal because it splits into three main branches. It provides sensation to the face. When neuralgia (nerve pain) occurs in the trigeminal nerve it causes severe and sudden face pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It differs from pain messages carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (a fall, or cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines than pain from damaged tissue. Medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen are usually not effective in neuropathic pain, while medicines that are sometimes used to treat epilepsy or depression can be very effective in some people with neuropathic pain. Other possible treatments include the use of local anaesthetic applied to the skin.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (a fall, or cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines than pain from damaged tissue. Medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen are not effective in neuropathic pain, while medicines that are sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy can be very effective in some people. Our understanding of fibromyalgia (a condition of persistent, widespread pain and tenderness, sleep problems, and fatigue) is lacking, but fibromyalgia can respond to the same medicines as neuropathic pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Nerves which have been damaged by injury or disease can continue to produce pain. This type of pain is called neuropathic pain. Some antiepileptic medications can help neuropathic pain. Phenytoin is an antiepileptic medication, and the aim of this review was to assess how effective phenytoin is for neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia. We identified no good quality studies of phenytoin used in this situation. When used to treat epilepsy, phenytoin can cause potentially troublesome adverse events, affecting nervous tissue, the blood, and unborn children. Based on current evidence, phenytoin cannot be recommended for treating neuropathic pain. Other antiepileptic drugs such as pregabalin, gabapentin, and carbamazepine have been shown to be of value in neuropathic pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages that are carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (for example, a fall, or cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines to those used for pain from damaged tissue. Medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are not usually effective in neuropathic pain, while medicines that are sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy can be very effective in some people with neuropathic pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Antiepileptic drugs like lacosamide are commonly used for treating neuropathic pain, usually defined as pain due to damage to nerves. This would include postherpetic neuralgia (persistent pain experienced in an area previously affected by shingles), painful diabetic neuropathy, nerve injury pain, phantom limb pain and trigeminal neuralgia; fibromyalgia also responds to some antiepileptic drugs. This type of pain can be severe and long‐lasting, is associated with lack of sleep, fatigue, depression and a reduced quality of life. This review included five studies in painful diabetic neuropathy (1863 participants) and one in fibromyalgia (159 participants). In people with painful diabetic neuropathy, lacosamide had only a modest effect, with a specific effect due to its use in 1 person in 10. This is a minor effect and may be an over‐estimate due to use of the last observation carried forward method for analysis. There was insufficient information in fibromyalgia to draw any conclusions about the effect of lacosamide. There was no significant difference between lacosamide and placebo for participants with any, or a serious, adverse event, but there were significantly more adverse event withdrawals with lacosamide. Regulatory authorities have not licensed lacosamide for treating pain based on evidence presently available.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Neuropathic pain is pain that arises from damaged nerves. It is different in nature than pain that arises from damaged tissue, such as a cut, although that type of pain is also carried along nerves. Drugs that are commonly used to treat pain, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, or morphine, are not very good at treating neuropathic pain. However, other drugs, such as gabapentin, which are also used to prevent or treat epilepsy (fits), do appear to be of some benefit in treating neuropathic pain. There is also a great deal of interest in using antidepressant drugs to treat neuropathic pain. This does not imply that the person with neuropathic pain is depressed, but simply that these drugs may have benefits in neuropathic pain. However, while some doctors prescribe antidepressants in people with neuropathic pain, their benefits have not been confirmed in large clinical trials.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (a fall, or cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines than pain from damaged tissue. Medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen are not effective in neuropathic pain, while medicines that are sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy can be very effective in some people with neuropathic pain. Our understanding of fibromyalgia (a condition of persistent, widespread pain and tenderness, sleep problems, and fatigue) is lacking, but fibromyalgia can respond to the same medicines as neuropathic pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

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