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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Glossopharyngeal neuralgia

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How might glossopharyngeal neuralgia be treated?

The main goal of treatment for glossopharyngeal neuralgia is to control pain. Over-the-counter pain medications are generally not very effective in affected individuals. However, anti-seizure medications such as carbamazepine, gabapentin, pregabalin, and phenytoin have reportedly been effective. Some antidepressants may help some individuals.[1] The application of local anesthetics to the affected region may also be beneficial.[2] In severe cases, affected individuals may need surgery to cut or take pressure off of the glossopharyngeal nerve; these surgeries are generally considered effective. If an underlying cause for the condition is identified, treatment is generally aimed at the underlying problem.[1]
Last updated: 1/28/2013

  1. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia. MedlinePlus. May 21, 2012; Accessed 1/28/2013.
  2. Zahid H Bajwa, Charles C Ho, Sajid A Khan. Overview of craniofacial pain. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate; 2013;