Doctors

Whether you see your family physician or your neurologist for the condition of Peripheral Neuropathy, the typical result will be that they want to address the pain and discomfort which you are experiencing. To do this, they will likely prescribe medication.  There are several types of prescription medications that help relieve the pain and discomfort of Peripheral Neuropathy.  Amongst the more popular are Neurontin also known in its generic form as  Gabapentin.  Lyrica, also know in its generic form as Pregabalin.  Also, one that has been in use since just after WWII is Pamelor, also known in its generic version as nortriptyline.

I have personally taken all three of these prescription medications at different times trying to figure out which one was best for me.  In the end I actually ended up quitting all prescription medications because the bottom line was they were effecting my work performance and lifestyle.  All this due to the fact that the medications were causing my mind to slow down to a crawl.

Almost all of the medication prescribed for Peripheral Neuropathy are medications that were primarily design to help abate the frequency and intensity of epileptic attacks.  In order to do this these medications slow down the processing power of the brain by reducing the number of neurotransmitters, thereby reducing the intensity of feeling but also reducing the speed of thought.  Ultimately this has the effect of the brain slowing down to the point where the usual nerve pain and discomfort of Peripheral Neuropathy is lessened, in some cases very significantly.

There is a big problem taking these medications however, and that is that the side effects of all of these medications can be quite severe.  The primary side effect is drowsiness and lethargy.  In my case I have to say that I felt like I became a zombie.  At work I would end up staring at the computer screen for minutes on end not knowing what I was doing last.  I spoke slower than usual and was unable to make snap decision.  It was as if something turned the operating frequency that my brain was running at down by 50%.  I called it “being stupid” and is one of the main reasons that I did not want to continue taking medications for my Peripheral Neuropathy after 1 ½ years of experimentation with various types.

Although opioid based medications like Hydrocodone or Oxycontin may provide relief, it is unlikely that your physician will prescribe these medications because they are highly addictive

Ultimately the decision to take prescription medication for your Peripheral Neuropathy is a decision only you can make with your doctor.  You will likely have to experiment between the different medications.  You should do some research of your own to make sure that you will be able to handle the side effects if you try different medications.  Always be aware that there are a multitude of treatment options for Peripheral Neuropathy and medication is only one of several dozen options that you can try.  Traditional medicine calls for physicians to treat people with medicine, so you should not expect much more than a prescription from your physician.


References:
Mayo Clinic – Peripheral Neuropathy – Treatments and Drugs
WebMD – Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy — Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
NIH – Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet