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Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • It’s important to see a healthcare provider to get a diagnosis and discuss a treatment plan.
  • Chronic idiopathic peripheral neuropathy is typically treated with a combination of medication, different therapies like physical or occupational therapy, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, orthopedic splints or braces can also help.
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All treatments for chronic idiopathic peripheral neuropathy
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When to see a healthcare provider

See a healthcare provider if you have symptoms of chronic idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. The condition can have a major impact on your quality of life and may stop you from maintaining good hygiene, caring for loved ones, or attending work or school.

Getting diagnosed

Your primary care provider or neurologist will diagnose the condition based on your medical history and a detailed neurologic exam that checks your reflexes, muscle strength, and ability to feel sensations.

They will likely do additional tests to identify possible causes of your neuropathy. These include blood tests, imaging tests (CT scan, MRI), EMG and nerve conduction studies, and nerve or skin biopsies.

What to expect from your doctor visit

  • Your doctor may prescribe anti-seizure medications, like gabapentin (Neurontin) or pregabalin (Lyrica), which help relieve nerve pain. It’s believed that they work by blocking the transmission of pain signals sent from damaged nerves.
  • Another option are antidepressants, which relieve pain by interfering with chemical processes that cause you to feel pain. These include tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
  • If you have severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers containing opioids, like tramadol (Ultram) or oxycodone (OxyContin). These can lead to dependence and addiction, so they usually aren’t recommended unless other treatments have failed.
  • Physical therapy may be recommended if you have muscle weakness.

Prescription medications

  • Anti-seizure medications: gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Silenor), nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • SNRIs: duloxetine (Cymbalta), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Opioids: tramadol (Ultram), oxycodone (OxyContin)

Types of providers for chronic idiopathic peripheral neuropathy

  • Your primary care provider can assist with diagnosing chronic idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.
  • A neurologist, who treats disorders of the brain and nervous system, can help diagnose the condition and discuss additional treatment options.
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