Neuropathic Pain (cont.)

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What is the treatment for neuropathic pain? Are there cures available for neuropathic pain?

Treatment of the underlying cause when possible is key. Many different medications can be used to treat neuropathic pain. However, it should be noted that no specific medication has been approved to treat all types of painful neuropathy. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and desipramine (Norpamine) have been used for many years with varying degrees of success. Recently, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) including paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), and other antidepressants such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and bupropion (Wellbutrin) have been used in some patients. Antiseizure medications carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), gabapentin (Neurontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), and others have been used for many years. In severe cases of painful neuropathy, medications typically used to treat heart arrhythmias may be of some benefit. Topical agents (lidocaine or capsaicin) have been used as well. The use of opioids to treat chronic pain is a frequent topic of debate and this argument will not be repeated here; opioids may have a place in treating some cases of neuropathic pain.

Curing neuropathic pain is dependent on the underlying cause. If the cause is reversible, then the peripheral nerves may regenerate and pain will abate; however, this reduction of pain may take many months to years.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2013

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