Good morning! I had my MRI and MRA last evening. I have only had one major attack so far. It lasted two weeks and then it took another week for the right side of my face and my ear and teeth and gums to feel normal again. I was in constant fear that it would happen again. I was wondering if there is any way to tell if and when this will happen again? I woke up this morning and my gums on the right side are sore and I can feel something in my ear as well. since I have only seen the Neuro once I don't know if I should go full-force with my meds or not? Can taking the meds prevent an attack or will it happen anyway? Also, I was wondering if anyone has a TN action plan? Two of my boys have asthma and we have an action plan for them. When to go to the ER after all avenues have been tried and the pain is still unbearable. When I was at the ER last time my TN was not yet diagnosed but the IV pain meds were a God-Send after being in excruciating pain for days with no relief or rest Does the ER frown upon us using it for pain relief???

Hi Annemarie,
Welcome to LwTN…
I will try and answer some of your questions, as for knowing if and when you’re going to experience an attack of TN…
I personally have never had any warning in advance.
I have read that many of our members have talked about feeling a certain feeling that they knew indicated they would soon start feeling worse with their TN.

The med(s) usually prescribed when first diagnosed with TN are anticonvulsants, like Tegretol ( carbamazepine) or Neurontin ( gabapentin) .these meds are designed to take continuously, NOT on an as needed basis. They need time to build up in our bodies. Usually initial relief can be felt between 24-48hrs. It then needs to be increased over a few weeks/months time to find the right dose for you. There are always side effects but usually as your body adjusts these tend to diminish.
These med(s) can manage the pain and allow you to work, function normally.
Very important to have an “action plan” with your Doctor or Neuro regarding how to increase the meds safely. Discussing with them what to do should your pain increase and become unmanageable at your current dose. Who to call etc… Also find out if they can prescribe you a med for breakthrough pain when necessary.
Check out our Face Pain Info tab upper right of the screen for great resources and info on ERs.
I hope that helps a little.
Feel free to post this again on our main page under Forums/discussions as more people read through there than here in the Blog section, you’ll receive more replies.

((Hugs)), Mimi

I agree with everything Mimi said. Take her advice. The anti-convulsants are for CONTINUOUS use, not as needed.