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Can med-related neuropathy return?
Jun 15, 2007

Dear Dr.

I've been positive more than 20 years and have been on lots of meds. About 8 years ago, I developed peripheral neuropathy in my legs, feet and hands lasting about 3 years total. My Dr. and I believe it was due to Zerit. Once that batch of meds were changed, the neuropathy dissipated within a year or so.

Its been about 5 years since the neuropathy has gone, however, I find that when I get tired the pain returns. Not to the horrendous degree when the neuropathy was acute but enough for me to know its there. Is this normal? When I rest (I mean like a day of rest), the pain goes away. I don't want pain meds or anything like that, I just want to make sure that the neuropathy is gone for good. Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Henry

In my experience drug related peripheral neuropathy often but not always improves when the offending drug is stopped. Patients have occasionally reported to me similar observations in that in some cases the symptoms never clear completely and seem to flare from a variety of factors. It may be that the nerves nerver recovered fully either in number or function and so the impacted region remains vulnerable to flare-ups in symptoms. Efforts to develop nerve growth factors have been frustrated so far but some treatments like N-acetyl carnitine are being evaluated for the ability to help replenish small nerve density. Overall treatment if usually symptomatic or try to remove or address other contributing factors like diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. KH

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