A patient presents with pain over her face from upper cheek to temple and scalp in a dermatomal distribution without a history of an associated rash. The pain is sharp and piercing in nature. Administration of which of the following is the most appropriate initial therapy?

Trigeminal neuralgia (neuralgia of the 5th cranial nerve) is the most common form of cranial neuralgias, occurring with an incidence of 4 to 16 per 100,000. It is usually unilateral, affects women more than men (2:1), and is more common over the age of 50. Pain is described as sharp and lancinating and is limited to the distribution of one or more divisions of the trigeminal nerve, with the maxillary division most frequently affected. The pain is characterized by intense short attacks associated with trigger points and triggering events such as talking and...

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