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Hemifacial Spasm Treatments

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Hemifacial Spasm Guide

Alison Beaver

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Treatment

Hemifacial spasm is usually a chronic condition. Remission of symptoms, although possible, has only been noted to occur in less than 10% of patients.

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:

Medication

  • Carbamazepine —This is often used initially, with improvement in symptoms in up to half of patients who are treated.
    • According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), patients of Asian ancestry who have a certain gene, called HLA-B*1502, and take carbamazepine are at risk for dangerous or even fatal skin reactions. If you are of Asian descent, the FDA recommends that you get tested for this gene before taking carbamazepine. If you have been taking this medication for a few months with no skin reactions, then you are at low risk of developing these reactions. Talk to your doctor before stopping this medication.
  • Gabapentin and baclofen —These may also be beneficial for treating hemifacial spasm in some patients.

Botulinum Toxin Injections

Injecting botulinum toxin (ie, Botox) into the affected muscles can stop eyelid spasm for several months. However, these injections must be repeated, usually several times a year.

Surgery

Microvascular decompression surgery repositions the blood vessel away from the nerve. This is successful in cases of hemifacial spasm where the cause is suspected to be a blood vessel compressing the facial nerve.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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