Peripheral facial paralysis


Full text NHG Guideline on Peripheral facial paralysis (pdf)

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The NHG Guideline Peripheral Facial Paralysis provides guidelines for diagnosis and treatment for adults with acute onset peripheral facial paralysis. Peripheral facial paralysis is a rare mutilating condition, with potentially large psychological and social consequences.

If there is no clear cause of the facial paralysis, it is called idiopathic. This diagnosis is based on patient’s history and physical examination, which can be performed by a general practitioner. Even though idiopathic peripheral facial paralysis can result in a serious failure of the facial muscles, the prognosis is usually favorable.

The guideline recommends treatment with prednisolone as soon as possible and at latest one week after the start of the symptoms as this will increase the chance of recovery. Criteria for referral to a medical specialist, such as occurrence of alarm symptoms, are presented within the guideline.


The guideline program of the College is designed for GPs in the context of the Dutch healthcare system. It makes no warranties concerning the efficacy of the guidelines used in other countries. The information is for educational and/or professional use only and is provided in good faith without any express or implied warranty. The College does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage occasioned by use of the information contained on the website nor from any access to the website. All access and use is at the risk of the end-user.

Additional information


Klomp MA, Striekwold MP, Teunissen H, Verdaasdonk AL



Revision Date

July 2010