Occipital Neuralgia and other Cranial Neuralgias For discussion of Occipital Neuralgia, Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia, Nervus Intermedius (or Geniculate Neuralgia), and Vegal and Superior Laryngeal Neuralgia. (Trigeminal Neuralgia has its forum below.)


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Old 09-23-2009, 09:56 PM #1
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Default Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

Curious if anyone else here has it? I've had difficulty finding other GN folk.
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:09 PM #2
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Default Glossopharyngeal neuralgia

I don't have this condition but I 'know' somebody I met over the Internet, who does. It's one of the rarer symptoms of MS, which this person has.

I did a search here on NeuroTalk for you and there have been quite a few postings about GN. Here's the link for you to read through at your leisure.
http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/se...geal+neuralgia
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:55 PM #3
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Default I Have Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia Too

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Originally Posted by semcsquared View Post
Curious if anyone else here has it? I've had difficulty finding other GN folk.
I would love to talk to anyone about this condition. I have had it for 2 years. Please email me if possible,**.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:34 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semcsquared View Post
Curious if anyone else here has it? I've had difficulty finding other GN folk.
Hi, yes it is a bit hard finding anyone else with this experience. I have had it for about 18 months but probably 9 of those months have been periods of remission. Only fairly recently have i jumped on the medication roundabout and have just transitioned from Tegretol to Neurtonin <sp>. I have had a tough 2 weeks going from horrible side effects while i was on both for a while to now having continuous attacks while hoping to get to a level of mediation that will work. Talking brings on an attack which never happened before so things are pretty quiet around our place! very frustrating!

I would be very interested in hearing how you and others are getting on, well i hope?
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:47 AM #5
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I would love to talk to anyone about this condition. I have had it for 2 years. Please email me if possible,**.
Hi - I have it too - I already posted in reply to semcsquared but i am a newby at using forums and so i dont know if you would see that. Anyway I would love to link up with others with similar experiences and would be happy to share mine. Just starting on Neurontin after only having partial success with Tegretol on 1200 mg.

Its not working yet but i am hopeful!
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:30 PM #6
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Blast. I hope kotter hasn't vanished yet- I had given up hope of anyone responding. Unfortunately, the forum won't let you send e-mails through it until you have 20 posts, so I'll have to try a private message. We'll see.

Mrs_Bennet, your reply to me on this thread is visible to everyone. I see that you're switching from tegretol to neurontin. I hope you can get to a dose that will control the pain, soon. If I may ask, do you know how yours got started? I've not really gotten to speak with anyone else about their experience before.

I've had glossopharyngeal neuralgia for 10 years, now. The first pain attack I had while having a very violent coughing attack. I'm not sure if it was to blame, or my impressive track record with strep throat as a kid. Regardless, here I am.

I'm in the process of tapering off my meds (going into remission, I hope!) but have had a bit of a set-back these past few days. Still, I'm doing much better than this time last month.

Let me know how you're doing. I hope you're feeling better than when you posted last!
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:50 AM #7
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Hi, great to hear from you.

I am much better thanks. The frequency of the attacks and the intensity is much reduced so that although i am still getting attacks, they are no longer distressing - more like having an annoying toothache level of pain to a little greater, especially if i have been late with the medications. I find i can now continue speaking through most but not all attacks. At least i can keep my face looking normal! so back to work on Monday after a week working from home.

I am taking 600 mg now 3xday. I think that's about the most my neurologist has said i can take so i will have to make a decision about whether to live with what might be a relatively manageable level of pain or to try something else to get to a state of no pain. I'll just see how i go. I find that Neurontin has less side effects for me than Tegretol, though on good days tegrotol stopped the attacks altogether. Tegretol just seemed so sensitive, i would have no pain for a few days and then have a really bad day for no apparent reason (ie i had not forgotten any medications) and then if for some reason the dose was a bit high, for example when i took one lot of tablets late and then the others as usual, I ended up getting very dizzy and nauseous.

I would be interested in hearing about your experiences with medications - and what sort of outcome you were able to achieve. I really hope you are going into a period of remission! one benefit of taking medications that only tone down the attacks is that i will know if i am entering remission.

i think my GPN started, though i didnt know it at the time, after a nasty sore throat where i ended up with a lump on the left hand side of my throat. I went to a EN&T specialist in case it was something nasty. By the time i got in to see him the lump had disappeared! But around that time I experienced a weird feeling on the left hand side of my throat from time to time that would result in a horrible cough-gag reaction. I probably had this for a couple of weeks and then it went away for probably a year. Then I started getting the terrible pain in the lhs of my throat - finally got it diagnosed, and then I had it on and off for a few months after which i went into about 6 months remission. It started again in August this year, gradually getting worse until i decided i would need to consider medication. i did try acupuncture until fairly recently when my acupuncturist moved to a difficult spot fro me to get to, but its impossible to say whether the acupuncture helped or whether i naturally went into periods of remission.

I find a number of things cause an attack, the usuals, but also if i talk with my neck turned to the left. This makes me think there is a physical reason that is aggravated by movement. I did have a MRI scan which showed a possible blood vessel around about where the 9th cranial nerve lives but it was inconclusive.

What a mystery though - why go into remission at all if there is a physical cause??

I'd be very interested in knowing the pattern your condition has followed, especially around remissions.

Sorry about the brain dump you are the first person i have communicated with who also has the condition.

I hope all goes well re going off your medications!

All the best



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Blast. I hope kotter hasn't vanished yet- I had given up hope of anyone responding. Unfortunately, the forum won't let you send e-mails through it until you have 20 posts, so I'll have to try a private message. We'll see.

Mrs_Bennet, your reply to me on this thread is visible to everyone. I see that you're switching from tegretol to neurontin. I hope you can get to a dose that will control the pain, soon. If I may ask, do you know how yours got started? I've not really gotten to speak with anyone else about their experience before.

I've had glossopharyngeal neuralgia for 10 years, now. The first pain attack I had while having a very violent coughing attack. I'm not sure if it was to blame, or my impressive track record with strep throat as a kid. Regardless, here I am.

I'm in the process of tapering off my meds (going into remission, I hope!) but have had a bit of a set-back these past few days. Still, I'm doing much better than this time last month.

Let me know how you're doing. I hope you're feeling better than when you posted last!
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:13 PM #8
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Yes, a lot of people find that neurontin has fewer side effects than tegretol. (I've read and posted on the Trigeminal Neuralgia forum off and on for years under different names.) I outlined my medication history in a poem, actually, which can be seen here:
http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/thread101428.html

My pain started at age 14, but I wasn't properly diagnosed until 19. Of everything I've taken, Carbatrol (which is just extended release Tegretol) was most effective in taking away the pain. Side effects were more severe, but I adjusted to a certain extent. I did sleep walk while on it, though. Also, it interferes with hormonal birth control, and I got married a few years ago, so I switched back to neurontin.

My periods of remission and exacerbation are pretty closely related to three things:stress, allergies, and colds. The first two especially. I moved twice in high school, and didn't care for school, so I spent most of each school year in pain. However, once I got to college, I was much happier, and even spent nearly all of my freshman year in remission.

Throughout college I spent much more time in remission, though I typically had exacerbations for a few weeks around finals, and a few weeks mid-spring semester from pollen and such. Except for one of those times, I was able to control the pain completely with medication. (Sophomore year of college I finally got neurontin and tegretol.)

I spent August 07 - May 09 in graduate school. I spent probably 9 months total not in remission spread out over that time period. I was always able to control it with pretty low doses of neurontin (usually 600 mg)

However, this past August, it came out of remission (I'd been fine since April) and it was the worst it's been since I was in high school. I wound up on 1800 mg of neurontin, like you, and have dealt with pretty bad nausea this time around. I did try lyrica for a while, but it actually made the pain worse! Anyway, since late October, I started tapering off my neurontin and was down to 300 mg (YAY!) but have bumped back up to 600 mg. We'll see what happens. I'd really like to spend the holidays in remission.

I think that some of the Trigeminal Neuralgia folk take neurontin and tegretol together. It might be worth talking to you neurologist about.

Do your pain attacks every cause you to cough? Mine do, and sometimes to the point that I throw up. Fortunately, that doesn't happen very often.

I've had speaking as a trigger for a long time, and know what you mean about sometimes not being able to talk through them. I did have a new trigger this time around though. Simply bending over to pick something up on the floor (putting my head below my heart, essentially) would trigger an attack. It was pretty annoying.

I also have pain on my left hand side, but have never had an MRI to check for vascular compression of the cranial nerve. Brain surgery seems pretty extreme, especially when I can get meds to work. I don't think it's a compression in my brain, though I do think there is sometimes a compression somewhere, because occasionally I get this annoying throbbing when my nerve is extra sensitive. I'm not sure how to describe it, exactly.

I've always found drinking to be more dangerous than eating. How about you? I've also noticed that more acidic drinks are more likely to trigger an attack. (ie, water is better than soda, milk is better than water.)

How about you? My husband has just really gotten acquainted with the foibles of this... disease? this time around, and I've never really had anyone to compare notes with. I'm sorry this is so long. Like you, I'm also doing a brain dump.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:01 PM #9
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Even though I am a relative newbie at all of this - it is really helpful to hear about your experience as certainly there are some similarities - including a slightly spooky one in that I went into remission in April this year and came out in August! must be the moon

I loved your poem - glad i didn't try some of your earlier meds! I hated the idea of going on medication - but in the end there didn't seem to be a choice. I tried prescribed pain killers but they don't seem to do anything. I may try acupuncture again as i reckon it helped a bit - but who can tell with remission being a feature.

I was on Tegretol and Neurontin at the same time while i was transitioning between the two and i got really quite sick - nausea, dizziness and eye twitching so i couldnt read without getting migraines. maybe it was just the amounts?

I also had the coughing and gag response - horrible. Before I was diagnosed I tried to describe the condition including the pain, eyes watering and gagging to a dr and he just looked at me as if i was a bit crazy - he could only hear the word throat and thought i was being a bit of a drama queen about a sore throat

A different dr in the same practice had come across it before and so recognised it as GPN.

I have had an MRI and it showed a bit of shading near where the 9th is located but it wasn't conclusive. The neurologist thought it probably was a blood vessel near the nerve but what i dont understand is why it goes into remission if that's what it is.

One of the things that seems to trigger it for me is turning to the right and talking or lying in bed on my right hand side. That makes me think it might be compression?

Got to go to work now but i really hope your progress towards remission continues. I am just thinking about a Christmas where the Dr has said I should only have one glass of wine during an evening! I am off alcohol all together at the moment while I am sorting out levels. i dont drink a lot anyway .. but only one over Christmas !!

Really pleased to have found someone to talk to about all of this !
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:22 PM #10
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Thumbs up Nine Years with GN

Quote:
Originally Posted by semcsquared View Post
Curious if anyone else here has it? I've had difficulty finding other GN folk.
Hi to semcsquared and anyone else who reads this and suffers from GN. I have had the GN pain for 9 years! Of course, for the first 5 years, it was not diagnosed and I even had my tonsils out at age 50 because the dr. and I were convinced that the agony was caused by by yucky tonsils. Unfortunately, that procedure made the pain much, much worse - not just during the recovery but from then on.........I have tried several anti-seizure meds, things like Cymbalta for neurological pain, and narcotic pain meds. I see a pain management dr. at this point, which is a way different bird than an ENT (they give you a tissue when you cry!). Even after a diagnosis, which was based on history - not on the numerous scans - I was deep in denial about actually having GN....I just kept thinking it was something way more evil lurking in my neck, throat, ear and tounge. Two months ago I begged my ENT to give me a final MRI and also to biopsy two little bumps in my throat - coincidentally where the pain is - those bumps turned out benign (THANK GOD) and are not related to the pain. On the request for the MRI, my dr. specifically asked the radiologist to LOOK for looping arteries in the brain stem near the root entry of the glossopharyngeal nerve........wellllllll, I'm a believer now! My dr. showed me the film and WOW, it is so very visible (a looped artery on top of the nerve) that I'm amazed that it was never seen before. I just couldn't wrap my head around a "likely GN" diagnosis, but once the dr. specified WHAT TO LOOK FOR and it was FOUND, I understand what this is all about - I had a very good visual! For my own reasons, I just NEEDED that! So if anyone is skeptical and digging for answers, maybe your dr. could be SPECIFIC......that was my 6th MRI, and the first conclusive diagnosis.....yes, the dr. had given me the "likely GN" diagnosis earlier, but I was not convinced. By the way, over the past 9 years, I've seen 12 different ENT's, and even spent a day at Barrow's in Phoenix having scans - they saw absolutely nothing remarkable.

Interestingly enough, I THINK I'M N A REMISSION - A GOOD ONE! I am slowly weaning off the meds (YAY!!). I think I read somewhere (long ago) that sometimes GN goes away without surgery FOR GOOD. I am simultaneously thrilled and fearful that this is gone.....fearful that it will return. Has anyone out there had or heard of long-term GN pain going away - FOR GOOD? It started mysteriously, stuck around for years, and now seems to have vanished.......? I would love to hear from ANYONE who can relate to this. Hope I don't have to reply, "Never mind - it's BACK!"

And last.....a question about GN, does anyone have a metalic or bitter "spot" in the back of their throat where the pain is located? I haven't read anywhere that this is a symptom, but I sure do have a weird taste in front of where my right tonsil used to be. Would love to know if this is part of the whole thing.

Thank you in advance........hope everyone is having a pain-free day!

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