Medication can often help to control chronic pain such as nerve pain. Both prescription and over the counter medications are utilized in the treatment of nerve pain. It is important to remember that all medications carry side effects and should always be taken exactly as they are prescribed.
Treatment that involves medications to help reduce nerve pain can take a while before you feel the full effect. Many medications can take four to six weeks to reach their full potential. Other medications can provide relief a lot quicker. Normally the medications that take a while to kick in are the ones that will provide the most lasting relief in your nerve pain.
Your initial form of treatment will depend on the severity of your nerve pain. If you are trying to control and reduce your pain yourself, there are some things that you can try before turning to prescription medications. Adding Vitamins B and D into your daily diet can sometimes help with nerve pain. Utilizing over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil may also help to alleviate pain. Always remember to take only the recommended amount.
Your doctor may try various prescriptions before finding the right treatment for your nerve pain. Some antidepressants have been shown to reduce pain. Two of the most common medications are Amitiriptyline and Cymbalta. Corticosteroids such as prednisone and anti-convulsants have also been helpful in reducing nerve pain. Some doctors may suggest you to try a topical pain reliever such as EMLA cream, which is said to cause a numbness to reduce pain. Opioid medications such as Vicodin and Loritabs can be prescribed to help relieve some of the pain you are feeling. These do have a habit-forming affect on some people, so doctors will often try other medications first.
Studies have shown that the use of a local anesthetic such as Mexitil will help dull nerve pain. Although many doctors have not yet started this type of treatment, research shows that is does have a positive effect on nerve pain.
In patients where the typical prescription medications do not alleviate enough of the nerve pain, physicians will likely turn to other types of therapy such as injected medications. A nerve block injection can have an anesthetic affect that helps reduce pain. An epidural steroid injection is placed within the spine for nerve pain. This type of injection does not work on all patients. A trigger point injection can help to reduce pain by placing the medication at the source of the pain.
Prescription medications will most likely work the best when combined with other treatment options such as physical therapy. Individuals respond differently to treatment methods and cannot be guaranteed that a certain combination will relieve the pain. Your doctor may increase dosage on an existing medication or change you to another medication to better address the nerve pain.