Treatment may include:
Treatment for the Underlying Illness or Exposure
Treating the underlying illness can decrease or eliminate symptoms. For instance, if it is caused by diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels may help. In some cases, neuropathy caused by medications or toxins is completely reversed when these substances are stopped or avoided. Correction of vitamin B12 deficiency often improves symptoms.
Certain exercises may help stretch shortened or contracted muscles and increase joint flexibility. In long-standing cases, splinting the joint may be required to protect and rest it, while maintaining proper alignment.
Orthotics (supports and braces) may help with:
- Balance issues
- Muscle weakness
Maintaining physical activity is also key.
Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications are often used to ease discomfort.
Drugs to treat depression and prevent convulsions sometimes relieve neuropathy symptoms. These medications are often given at lower dosages. Commonly used antidepressants include:
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
Commonly used anticonvulsants may include:
- Gabapentin (Neurontin)
- According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), patients of Asian ancestry who have a certain gene, called HLA-B*1502, and take carbamazepine are at risk for dangerous or even fatal skin reactions. If you are of Asian descent, the FDA recommends that you get tested for this gene before taking carbamazepine. If you have been taking this medication for a few months with no skin reactions, then you are at low risk of developing these reactions. Talk to your doctor before stopping this medication. *
- Pregabalin (Lyrica)—recently approved for peripheral neuropathy
For severe and potentially life-threatening cases (such as Guillain-Barre syndrome ), treatment includes:
- Steroids (such as prednisone )
- Intravenous immunoglobulins
These therapies are aimed at reducing symptoms and may include:
Surgery can relieve the pressure on nerves. For example, surgeons commonly release fibrous bands in the wrist to treat carpal tunnel syndrome .
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.