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It can be difficult for individuals who have nerve pain to gain control over there symptoms. Over the last few decades, medicine has come a long way and finding effective ways to treat nerve pain. These include many different prescription drugs, that function as pain relievers, anticonvulsants, or antidepressants. Newer treatments such as electrical stimulation and or techniques have been growing in use as well.
If you are suffering nerve, whether you have shingles, HIV, arthritis, cancer or another condition, there are options for you to get the relief you need. In this article, we list some prescription treatment that your physician may recommend helping.
Prescription Drugs for Your Nerve Pain
Many types of medication can alleviate nerve pain. However, not all the medications listed here will help with your particular type of nerve pain. The best chose will depend on the cause, severity potential side of effects, other medication or conditions you may have and you and your doctor preferences. The purpose of this list to highlight some common class of medications that available for you.
Anticonvulsants. Although the name of this medication may sound a little startling, these drugs can help people suffering from nerve pain. These drugs are often considered the first choice. These drugs were created for individuals who have epilepsy to control seizures.
Note that not all anticonvulsants will help. Your doctor will decide which medicines that have to be shown in studies to work to control nerve pain.
Antidepressants. Along with anticonvulsants, particular types of antidepressants can be the preferred choice for treating neuropathic pain. Nerve pain specialists often recommend two major types of antidepressants.
Tricyclic Antidepressants – These drugs have been using for many years. However today they are not used often to treat depression, they have a crucial role in helping people to control nerve pain symptoms. There have been many studies showing that they help. These drugs can cause side effects such as upset stomach, constipation, blurred vision, and dizziness. Tricyclic antidepressants may not be the best for people with conditions such as heart problems.
SNRI ( serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) are a newer antidepressant that helps relieve nerve pain. Overall these drugs have fewer side effects than tricyclic antidepressants. They may be safer for some individuals, particularly those who have heart problems. However, there may not be as effective in alleviating nerve pain like some Tricyclics.
There is an additional benefit to using antidepressants for nerve pain; it also helps with chronic pain that is related to depression. Chronic pain can make a person depressed, and the occurrence of depression can make the chronic pain feel worse. So antidepressants for nerve pain may help improve the mood as well as ease the discomfort for individuals suffering from both.
Many people do not want to take antidepressants for their nerve pain because they may be concerned that taking antidepressant indicates the pain is “in their heads” rather than physical. However, this is not the true. These drugs happen to work in both conditions.
Painkillers for severe nerve pain often come as powerful opioids that are prescribed. Studies indicate that there are many types of nerve pain, and opioid painkillers can be as effective as antidepressants and anticonvulsants. However, painkiller works much quicker, but may cause side effects. Opioid painkillers may cause constipation sedation and upset stomach. There is also the risk of addiction or abuse; it is essential that you use these exactly as your doctor prescribes.
There are other painkillers such as NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs( that can help. However, these drugs do not have the same effectiveness of other drugs to relieve nerve pain.
Topical treatments – These are painkilling lidocaine and gel patches, which can be an effective method. You can apply theses patches to areas of the skin. These work best when you have very localized spots of pain that are small. The side effect for the patches is that it can irritate the skin.
Combination Treatment – Your doctor may recommend that you use a combination of treatments. The doctor may recommend that you do combination therapy which could include anticonvulsant and antidepressant. Combination therapy may have more impact than one working by itself.
Three Recommendations for Nerve Pain Medication
You should look for any interactions before the doctor recommends taking a drug, you should make sure that your doctor knows the prescription, OTC drugs, vitamins and supplements that you use. You should write them all down in a list to present to your doctor. Alternatively, you can bring the pill bottoms and medication containers to help instead.
You should always follow the doctor’s instructions exactly. D on not stray from your physicians directions. How often during the day, what time, how many, before or after food,? All of these questions should be clear. Never stop using your prescription medication without discussing with your doctor first.
You should inform your doctor of side effects. He or she may be able to change the dosage or change the medication to resolve any problems.
Alternatives to Medicine for Nerve Treatment
Although medications are usually the first choice for treating neuropathic pain, there are other non-drug approaches that may help including:
Electrical stimulation – When a person has nerve pain, an electrical signal is being sent from a damaged nerve to the brain. Some treatments for nerve pain function by sending out their electrical impulses. These electrical impulses can be interrupted or blocked so that the pain signals are reduced.
Tens( transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is one instance of this approach. A little device sends
a mild electrical current through the skin. Although TENS is a simple, painless treatment, the evidence that it help nerve pain has been missed. However, recent research does seem to show that ic a help with nerve pain caused by diabetes, thus the American Academy of Neurology does recommend it as a treatment option.
Pens (percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) – this called electroacupuncture-provides electrical stimulation to nerves though acupuncture needles. This is likely to be more useful in treating diabetic nerve damage but is not widely available. However, the American Academy of Neurology does recommend it.
rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) uses magnets to send electrical implies to the brain. Effectiveness is limited due to the need for more studies, suggest that PENS and rTMS may help with nerve pain.
Other techniques of electrical stimulation are more complicated and require surgery. For example, spinal cord stimulation involves implanting a device in the body that sends out electrical impulses to the spinal cord. Deep brain stimulation or DBS involves a surgeon implanting an electrode in the brain. However, this is invasive and only is recommended when all the options have been exhausted.
Controlling Nerve On
Nerve pain pain is difficult to control. Some research indicates that many individuals with nerve pain are getting effective pain relief.
Although, this does not mean that you have to have a life full of pain. Research believe that most of the people in nerve pain can get relief and help but are not getting proper treatment. Relying on ineffective medications or getting the wrong drugs, with the wrong dosages may be a big actor and why so many are not getting sufficient pain relief.
If you are suffering from nerve pain and your treatment is not work. You should go to your doctor and ask for a new approach or get a referral for an expert, such as a neurologist or pain specialist.