Management of Bell's palsy

Dhruvashree Somasundara, Frank Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
215 Downloads (Pure)


Bell’s palsy is facial nerve paralysis of unknown cause. Left untreated, 70–75% of patients make a full recovery.

Early treatment with prednisolone increases the chance of complete recovery of facial function to 82%. Eleven people need to be treated for one extra complete recovery at six months.

There may be benefit in adding an antiviral drug to prednisolone in some cases. Additional research is needed on this treatment.

The palsy may leave the surface of the eye exposed. Early eye protection with lubrication and a patch is crucial to prevent long-term complications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-97
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Prescriber
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2017


  • antiviral drugs
  • corticosteroids
  • idiopathic facial paralysis


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