Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Treatments Abound for Tic Douloureux Ailment

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Treatments Abound for Tic Douloureux Ailment

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Donohue: About four years ago you mentioned a drug that can be used instead of Tegretol for tic douloureux. I misplaced the article. Will you please repeat it?

Tic douloureux is a lightning-like stab of pain in the cheek. In French, "douloureux" means "painful."

The most innocuous acts can detonate the terrifying explosion of tic douloureux pain. Talking, eating, brushing the teeth . . . even a breeze blowing on the cheek can set it off. The pain is short-lived, but it can keep coming back in successive waves. It's like having the sword of Damocles hanging over your head, never knowing when the next painful spasm will strike. Tegretol - carbamazepine - is only one useful control drug. Others include baclofen, phenytoin and pimozide. Destroying the nest of cells that serves as home base for the involved nerve has helped many patients. A doctor injects the nerve cells with glycerol or destroys them with the heat of a radio-frequency probe. A popular surgery for tic douloureux involves placing a small sponge between the nerve and its surrounding artery. The artery's pulsations are believed to trigger the painful spasms. "Trigeminal neuralgia" is the other name for the condition. It's the trigeminal nerve that transmits pain sensations from the face to the brain. Dear Dr. Donohue: Some time ago the subject of one of your columns was butterfly rash. During the past couple of months I have developed symptoms that resemble this disease. A flush on both cheeks and across the tip of my nose are present. I consulted a dermatologist. He made no diagnosis but prescribed twice-daily use of Metrogel. When I asked what results I could expect from the ointment, I was told that it would heal pus-filled pimples. I have not had any breaking out. I'm confused. The butterfly rash I mentioned previously is a skin sign of lupus. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.