How Do Anti-Seizure Medications Treat Pain?

treat painThe use of anti-seizure medications as a treatment option for pain is not a new concept. In fact, it is one of the oldest methods used to treat chronic pain conditions especially in those that have experienced long-term pain or are unable to see relief from other types of pain medications.

The first medications of this type were designed to provide relief from epilepsy. They work to calm the nerves and aid in reducing the symptoms of burning and tingling common with pain. Often times, pain that feels as though it is shooting through the arm, leg, back or other area is also due to nerve damage.

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The use of anti-seizure medications are highly effective in treating pain. However, doctors do not understand fully why this is. The exact mechanism of why this type of medication works is not fully understood, but what it seems to do is to turn off some of the transmissions of pain signals to the brain. When a person experiences pain, such as a burn on the fingertip, nerves transfer this pain signal through the nerve system to the brain. This type of medication tends to calm those sensations, therefore limiting the number, frequency, or intensity of these types of signals moving to the brain.

For some people who have chronic pain, these signals fire too often and sometimes without the need to do so. Overactive transmission of pain signals like this sometimes happen because nerves are damaged. This can happen in many situations including from chemotherapy treatment, herniated disks, fibromyalgia, and shingles.

How Medications Work

treat painAnti-seizure medication works to calm these signals. It works particularly well for some types of conditions including for trigeminal neuralgia, a type of condition that causes painful, searing facial discomfort that feels much like an electric shock.

The treatment with carbamazepine, a type of anti-seizure medication, is highly effective in this type of situation.

What we don’t know is when anti-seizure medication is going to be effective. If you have chronic pain, and have yet to try anti-seizure medications, it may be a helpful treatment to you depending on the cause of your pain and the current condition you are in. There are risks to taking these medications, which is why it is important to work with a trusted pain medication doctor in New York when seeking treatment. Call us to schedule an appointment at 646-862-5555.

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