A new study on the effectiveness of two intravenous treatments for trigeminal neuralgia

  • A retrospective study by IDIBELL and the Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge with 144 cases shows that intravenous treatment with lacosamide and phenytoin is effective and safe.
  • However, lacosamide seems to cause fewer side effects and last longer.
NO44 - A Muñoz_Cefalalgia - Imatge

Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that causes a sensation of pain similar to an electric shock on one side of the face. This sensation is caused by alterations of the trigeminal nerve that transmits the information from the face to the brain.

There are several therapeutic options for this type of neuralgia. However, they usually have unwanted side effects and the pain reappears in most cases. The Neurological Diseases and Neurogenetics research group of IDIBELL and the Bellvitge University Hospital has carried out a study to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of two intravenous drugs against trigeminal neuralgia, lacosamide, and phenytoin. Intravenous administration usually prevails in the treatment of acute crises, since it provides a faster action and oral administration is usually counterproductive due to pain.

The study results published in Cephalalgia demonstrate that the two drugs are effective and safe for the acute treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. The retrospective study of 144 cases indicates that more than 70% presented pain relief with both drugs. However, the group of people treated with lacosamide had fewer adverse effects than the group treated with phenytoin. Also, lacosamide showed a lower rate of hospital readmission and a longer duration of relief.



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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