BACKGROUND: Glossopharyngeal neuralgia has the characteristic of a long remission phase between the pain attack phases. Although the concept of remission is very important for the treatment of patients with glossopharyngeal neuralgia, due to the rarity of the disease, clear statistical studies on the remission phase for glossopharyngeal neuralgia are almost non-existent. METHODS: Previous chart reviews and phone interviews were conducted on a total of 38 patients. Among these study subjects, two patients were excluded because of their known secondary glossopharyngeal neuralgia from their brain tumors. Hence, the average duration of remission was investigated on 36 patients with idiopathic glossopharyngeal neuralgia. RESULTS: For the 27 patients who experienced their first remission, the average duration of the remission was 3.1 years. Among them, the average duration of the second remission of the 17 patients was 2.5 years, and for 4 patients who experienced a third remission, the average duration of the remission phase was 1.9 years. CONCLUSIONS: The difference in the mean duration of the remission phase of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd are not statistically significant, and the occurrence rate of the left or right side and of the gender, male or female, are also statistically insignificant. However, it is possible to infer that a patient might face a pain attack phase when his or her remission phase has lapsed for about three years. This prediction may be applied when developing treatment plans for patients with glossopharyngeal neuralgia.