Neuropathic Pain - Treatment

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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.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: oldhawk, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 15

30+ years ago my feet began to hurt. The first Dr. advised Mortons neuroma. Later, a neurologist diagnosed Bilateral Neuropathy (both feet). Today, i'm using Nortriptyline (30 mg/day). The pain, stabbing my feet with ice picks, is mostly under control, except once in a while, then WHAM! The pain hits and lasts a few moments to minutes. There appears to be nothing that I do which triggers the pain. I'm thankful for medication that helps manage it.

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Comment from: gayle, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I first started having the pain about 12 years ago. My foot doctor gave me cortisone shots all over both feet to no avail. I went to pain management doctor and he could do nothing. I went to a neurologist and was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. He gave me Neurontin (gabapentin). I went up to 800 mg. The foot doctor changed me to Lyrica 600 mg a day (maximum dosage). I also take 100 mg Tramadol. These medications help but I do have issues occasionally. The worst pain is at night.

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