A patient with metastatic cancer has developed trigeminal neuralgia and is taking carbamazepine (Tegretol) for pain relief. What principle applies to the administration of this medication?

Answer Explanation: The anticonvulsant agents carbamazepine (Tegretol) and phenytoin (Dilantin) relieve pain in most patients diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia by reducing the transmission of impulses at certain nerve terminals. Side effects include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, and aplastic anemia. Carbamazepine should be gradually increased until pain relief is obtained.

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