Essential Tremor: What Medications Work?

Essential tremor is a condition causing involuntary rhythmic movements, usually of the hands, but it can be seen in the head, larynx (voice box), arms, or legs. Its cause is unknown, although it is thought to have to do with poor communications among various parts of the brain. Although it can be mistaken for Parkinson’s disease, the two are separate diagnoses.

It is usually thought of as a mere annoyance, unless the condition makes it too difficult to perform tasks such as drinking from a glass or getting dressed. Social embarrassment can be another problem.

 

Prescription Medications for Essential Tremor

A cure is yet to be found, but several medications are available for temporary relief of symptoms:

  • Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anti-seizure medication also used for nerve pain. For essential tremor, it is typically started at 300 mg by mouth three times a day and increased up to 1200 to 1800 mg per day.
  • Inderal (propranolol) is known as a beta blocker, a medication frequently prescribed for heart disease and high blood pressure, but has found a use for essential tremor too. It is started at 10 mg by mouth per day and gradually increased to 20 mg twice a day.
  • Myosoline (primidone) is an anti-seizure medication available as a pill or liquid. For most patients 250 mg per day is the most effective dose.
  • Topamax (topiramate) is often prescribed as a prophylactic to prevent migraine attacks. For essential tremor it is started at a dosage of 25 mg by mouth at bedtime and increased up to 400 mg as needed.
  • Benzodiazepines—not generally recommended because of its addictive properties

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 Did you know that our doctors can prescribe you propranolol online? Or any of the other non-controlled prescription medications when medically appropriate—from the convenience of your home.

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