What Are the Costs of Essential Tremors Treatment?


Quick Answer

Extreme cases of essential tremor, or ET, are treated with deep brain stimulation, which costs an average of $30,000, according to the University of Michigan Health System. It is covered under most medical plans. Milder cases are treated through medications such as propranolol, which costs less than $20 for a month's supply, notes GoodRx.

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Full Answer

Propranolol is a beta-blocker and the only medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat essential tremor, according to Dr. Sharon Orrange for GoodRx. It reduces symptoms of upper limb tremor effectively but does not have a good history with reducing voice tremors. Primidone is often taken in addition to propranolol and is particularly effective on hand tremors. Tremor amplitudes are typically reduced by 60 to 70 percent by primidone. Thirty to 50 percent of ET patients do not improve from taking propranolol or primidone.

Deep brain stimulation is considered when medications are not effective in treating severe ET, explains the University of Michigan Health System. The goal of deep brain stimulation is to restore the patient's ability to perform daily activities and give him more hours each day without symptoms present. Deep brain stimulation is performed by implanting electrodes in the part of the brain where the nerve signals causing the tremors originate. A tiny electrical impulse is sent into the brain to block the signals that cause the tremors.

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