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What are possible treatments for neuropathy caused by chemotherapy?

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Quick Answer

Over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription painkillers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications and capsaicin cream are often used to treat chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, according to MayoClinic.org. Acetyl-L-carnitine, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, physical therapy, acupuncture, and engaging in regular, gentle exercise, such as walking, yoga and tai chi, are also effective treatments for some individuals.

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Full Answer

Epilepsy medications, such as gabapentin and pregabalin, can be helpful in relieving nerve pain, reports MayoClinic.org. Certain tricyclic antidepressants that interfere with chemical processes in the nervous system responsible for pain perception are effective treatments for some individuals. A cream derived from a natural substance found in hot peppers, called capsaicin, has shown to be slightly effective in relieving nerve damage symptoms. While opioid medications such as oxycodone are effective pain relievers, because of the potential for addiction, they are usually only prescribed as drugs of last resort.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a pain relief therapy that transmits a gentle electrical current through electrodes placed on the skin, notes MayoClinic.org. The thin needles inserted into various points on the body in an acupuncture session often reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, while physical therapy sessions can help improve muscle strength and control. Alpha-lipoic acid has enjoyed success as a neuropathy treatment in Europe for many years, and certain amino acids have proven to be effective in neuropathy after chemotherapy. Alcohol may worsen peripheral neuropathy and should be avoided in excess.

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