Given the intense nature of neuropathic pain, medications are frequently a first line of treatment. However, finding an effective medication takes a trial and error approach and can at times be frustrating to both the patient and the doctor. In addition, the side effects of many medications can be problematic.
Types of Medications for Pain
The three types of medications most commonly prescribed for nerve pain include:
- Antidepressants or tricyclic antidepressants (TCA’s), such as Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline. The newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressant medications (such as Prozac) are not considered as effective for this condition as tricyclic antidepressants.
- Anticonvulsants (also called neuroleptic medications) such as carbamazepine, felbamate, valproic acid, clonazepam, and phenytoin. A newer drug, gabapentin (Neurontin), is also considered effective and is generally well tolerated by most patients
- Local anesthetics, such as intravenous application of lidocaine, tocainide or mexiletine can often provide relief
Medication is not the only option for pain!
There are many things that may help with your pain which do not involve medications. These things may help relieve some pain and reduce the medications required to control your pain.