Know Your Nerve Pain Medication
The most commonly prescribed pharmaceutical nerve pain medication for neuropathy and nerve pain fall into three categories.
In reality, after reading through the treatment methods listed in the nerve pain medication list below, you will find that not one medication leads to a cure or helps to heal the nerves. With this in mind, the most effective modality of nerve pain medication only blocks the signals that trigger pain, they do not fix the cause of the pain.
Information about these medications are further detailed below.
Anti-Convulsants & Anti-Seizure – Antiepileptic
Risks and Benefits of Antiepileptic Drugs for Pain
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects for this category of nerve pain medication include: Dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, fatigue, vertigo, ataxia, blurred vision, and tremor.
Addiction is also a concern. Patients must be weaned or tapered off of these medications.
Falls are also associated with taking this type of medication due to its vertigo side effect. The loss of bone density is also noted in people taking these medications. Therefore the “fall” risk is not only elevated it is potentially more harmful due to bone density loss – especially for those individuals over the age of 65.
Suicidal thoughts and actions are also strongly associated with these medications.
It is not known exactly why these medications work to ease neuropathy and nerve pain. It is thought that they interfere with the over active nerve transmissions that the damaged nerve sends out and that this interference is what eases the pain.
Commonly Prescribed Antipileptic Drugs
Amitriptyline – Brand Names: Elavil, Endep, Lentizol, Saroten, Tryptanol, and Tryptizol
Carbamazepine Brand Name: Tegretol
Gabapentin – Brand Name: Neurontin, Gabarone
Oxcarbazepine – Brand Names: Oxtellar XR, and Trileptal
Pregabalin – Brand Name: Lyrica
Topiramate, Topamax – Brand Names: Qudexy XR, Topamax, and Trokendi XR
Anti-Depressants – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Risks and Benefits of Anti-depressants for Pain (SSRI)
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects associated with taking this type of nerve pain medication are: Drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, headache, diarrhea, blurred vision, nervousness, agitation or restlessness and dizziness.
Sexual problems, such as reduced sexual desire, difficulty reaching orgasm or inability to maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction)
Most notably, increased suicide rates and aggressive behavior risks have been further noted to accompany the use of these nerve pain medications. Read more here.
Addiction is indeed both psychological and physiological.
Withdrawal can consist of combinations of: Headaches, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, cramps, and tremors.
Cardiovascular symptoms that include, increased blood pressure and increased heart rate.
Neurological symptoms, such as confusion and the potential to develop seizures.
Psychological symptoms that can include cravings, mood swings, depression, panic attacks, anxiety and what’s more, suicidal thoughts and actions.
SSRIs and nerve pain control still isn’t something that is fully understood. It is thought that antidepressants may increase the neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that work to reduce pain signals.
Specifically, this medication will not provide immediate results. A patient may feel relief in about 7 days, however to maximize the desired benefits, it may well take several weeks.
Taking SSRIs for nerve pain only provides moderate relief.
Commonly Prescribed SSRI Drugs
Alprazolam – Brand Names: Xanax XR, Niravam
Amitripyline – Brand Names: Elavil, Endep, Lentizol, Saroten, Tryptanol, and Tryptizol
Clonazepam – Brand Name: Klonopin
Clomipramine – Brand Name: Anafrani
Cymbalta – Brand Names: Duzela, Yentreve, Xeristar, and Ariclaim
Diazepam – Brand Name: Valium
Desipramine – Brand Name: Norpramin
Duloxetine – Brand Name: Cymbalta
Imipramine – Brand Names: Tofranil and Tofranil PM
Nortriptyline – Brand Names: Allegron, Aventyl, Noritren, Nortrilen, Pamelor & Others
Fluoxetine – Brand Names: Prozac, Sarafem,
Sertraline – Brand Name: Zoloft
Paroxetine – Brand Names: Brisdelle, Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva
Vilazodone – Brand Name: Viibryd
Narcotics – Opioids
The Risks and Benefits of Opioids and Narcotics for Pain
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects from taking this type of nerve pain medication are: Sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence (addiction), tolerance, and respiratory depression.
Specifically, addiction to opioids is a high risk probability. As a result of addiction to this medication, opioid withdrawal symptoms may include: Muscle aches, restlessness, anxiety, eyes that tear up, runny nose, excessive sweating, inability to sleep, yawning very often, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, goose bumps on the skin, nausea and vomiting, dilated pupils and possibly blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure
There are, however some benefits to prescribing opioids for neuropathy and nerve pain. Methadone and levorphanol in particular, may act differently because they have unique mechanisms that drive the way that they interact with NMDA receptors. Similar to the interactions that antidepressants are reported to treat neuropathic pain – they specifically help block. (Here is a link to this study)
Opioids furthermore, are not the best treatment for neuropathy and nerve pain. They may actually help best for pain specifically created by nerve damage.
Commonly Prescribed Opioids and Narcotics for Nerve Pain
Codeine – Brand Names: Tylenol-Codeine No.3, Tylenol-Codeine No.4, Vopac
Fentanyl – Brand Names: (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Abstral, Onsolis)
Hydrocodone – Brand Names: Anexsia, Dicodid, Hycodan, Hycomine, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Tussionex Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER and Vicodin
Hydromorphone – Brand Names: Dilaudid, Exalgo
Levorphanol – Brand Name: Levo-Dromoran
Meperidine – Brand Name: Demerol
Methadone – Brand Names: Dolophine, Methadose
Morphine – Brand Names: Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin, MSIR, Oramorph, Morphabond
Oxycodone – Brand Names: Percodan, Endodan, Roxiprin, Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet, Oxaydo and OxyContin
Tramadol – Brand Names: Ultram, Conzip, Rybix ODT, and Ultram ER
Risks and Benefits of Muscle Relaxers for Pain
Common Side Effects
Some of the most common side effects from taking muscle relaxers as nerve pain medication include: Problems breathing, light-headedness or fainting, blurred vision, confusion, nausea, sleepiness and urinary retention.
Furthermore, there is a potential for abuse of this medication. Continuous use of muscle relaxers however, can cause addiction. Muscle relaxers fast-acting quality can, unfortunately cause individuals to become dependent on them whenever they experience a measure of pain. Both physically and mentally addicting, this drug can become a patients “go to” for relaxation and/or pain relief.
Additionally, withdrawal from muscle relaxers can include: Nausea, headache, lethargy, chills, muscle aches, insomnia, sweating, anxiety, agitation, and irritability.
In addition to relaxing the muscles, muscle relaxers also help calm stabbing nerve pain. Muscle relaxers work, for example by stimulating receptors in the brain stem, which in turn reduces outflow from the central nervous system. As a result, this can cause a reduction in the feeling of nerve pain, it does not treat the root cause of the pain.
Commonly Prescribed Muscle Relaxers for Nerve Pain
Cyclobenzaprine Flexeril, Amrix, Cyclobenzaprine Comfort Pac Fexmid, FlexePax, FusePaq Tabradol, Therabenzaprine-60
Baclofen – Lioresal
Carisoprodol – Soma
Cyclobenzaprine – Amrix
Metaxalone – Skelaxin
Methocarbamol – Robaxin
Orphenadrine – Norflex
Risks of Taking Statin Drugs
Statin drugs are most commonly prescribed by doctors for cholesterol management, atheroma-related disease, and diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy can result from taking Statin drugs which etch away at the myelin sheath surrounding the nerves. Furthermore, this erosion of the myelin sheath can eventually contribute to or even create the neuropathic pain that you suffer from. As a result, prescribed nerve pain medication for peripheral neuropathy may only compound the problem.
Additionally, Statin use side effects are: Headache, cataracts, pins and needles sensation, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, feeling sick, a rash, impaired memory, liver failure and skeletal muscle damage.
Statins, are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the world. Additionally, there is evidence that shows that they cause more harm than they do good. There is even more evidence that the Statins kill beneficial Co-Q 10 (Coenzyme Q 10) that helps promote clearing buildup in the veins and arteries, and furthermore it depletes the body of Vitamin K. Furthermore, there is evidence that cancer can occur with long term use.
Commonly Prescribed Statin Medication
Atorvastatin – Lipitor
Fuvastatin – Lescol, Lescol XL
Lovastatin – Mevacor, Altoprev
Pravastatin – Pravachol
Rosuvastatin – Crestor
Simvastatin – Zocor
Pitavastatin – Livalo
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