In many cases, prompt diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause can reduce the risk for permanent nerve damage. Treatment options for reducing pain include medication, injection therapy, and physical therapy. Surgery may be needed to treat some causes of neuropathy.
Medication to Treat Neuropathy
Because analgesics are usually ineffective against pain caused by neuropathy, treatment often involves medications that target nerve cells. certain medications has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Common side effects include constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, and nausea. In some cases, it causes dizziness and hot flashes. Although anticonvulsants such as meds and Topamax and antidepressants such as Elavil are not approved by the FDA to treat neuropathy, they are often prescribed to treat this condition. Side effects of these drugs include drowsiness, dizziness, low blood pressure, and fatigue. Other medications include anticonvulsants, local anesthetics, and antiarrhythmics. Anticonvulsants may cause low white blood cell counts, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Side effects of local anesthetics include nervousness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and double vision. Topical treatment with Zostrix may be prescribed for patients with focal neuropathy. Zostrix causes stinging upon application and is often combined with a local anesthetic to reduce this side effect. Axsain contains a higher dose of capsaicin in a cream that reduces stinging and burning. Lidoderm has been shown to be helpful for localized areas of tingling or burning. other medications has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat shingles pain. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, weight gain, and swelling.
Injection Therapy to Treat Neuropathy
Injection therapy involves injecting a nerve block into the area surrounding affected nerves, preventing the nerve from carrying impulses to the brain and temporarily reducing symptoms. Injection therapy is often used with other treatments.
Other Neuropathy Treatments
Discontinuing medication and exposure to the substance may eliminate neuropathy caused by medication and toxins. Vitamin supplements and Metanx may be used to treat nutritional neuropathy. Physical and acupuncture may be used to treat symptoms. Support groups often help patients cope with feelings of isolation and frustration and improve their quality of life.
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