Most patients, who come to our clinic, have usually seen multiple doctors (family doctor, podiatrist, neurologist); and have gone through extensive testing procedures such as NCV, EMG, blood work, CT, and MRI.
However, despite all the extensive testing procedures, treatments typically fall into the following categories. (Click on any medication to learn about the side effects associated with that medication.)
Medications Prescribed for Peripheral Neuropathy
Antiseizure medications, such as Gabapentin (Neurontin®), Topamax® and Lyrica® (pregabalin), have been used to relieve neuropathy pain. Research has revealed that these drugs have less than a fifty percent success rate at reducing pain, while the risk of suffering side effects is high. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that all anti-seizure medications are associated with a slightly increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions.
Certain antidepressants, such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine , amitriptyline (Vanatrip,Effexor), doxepin (Silenor) and nortriptyline (Pamelor), are commonly prescribed to help relieve the pain of peripheral neuropathy by interfering with chemical processes in your brain and spinal cord that cause you to feel pain.
Over the counter pain medications such as, Tylenol (acetominophen), ibuprofen or aspirin are commonly taken for mild cases of peripheral neuropathy. For more severe symptoms, your doctor may recommend prescription painkillers containing opiods. These drugs can lead to dependence and addiction. (Listen to our podcast: Dangers In Your Medicine Cabinet)
With time neuropathy gets progressively worse and people begin to take stronger opiate pain relievers such as:
Opiate Pain Relievers Commonly Used to Treat Neuropathy Pain
|GENERIC NAME||BRAND NAME|
|hydrocodone||Lortab, Norco, Vicodin|
|morphine||Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin|
|oxycodone||OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan|
The main active ingredients in topical lotions are Lidocaine and Capsaicin which essentially act as numbing agents to provide temporary pain relief.
Injections or Nerve Blocks
An injection of steroids, local anesthetics, or opioids can effectively produce short-term pain relief.
Surgical procedures are often performed at the site a nerve entrapment is suspected of being the cause for neuropathy pain. Surgical procedures may provide temporary relief but there is a high incidence of recurring entrapment and associated symptoms.