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Multiple Sclerosis: Pain Medicines

Topic Overview

Pain is a frequent problem for people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). Medicines that may be used to bring relief include:

  • Nonprescription pain relievers. These include acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as Advil), and naproxen (such as Aleve).
  • Amitriptyline, imipramine (Tofranil), or nortriptyline (Pamelor), for burning sensations.
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol).
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin). This drug may also help relieve muscle stiffness and tightness (spasticity).
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin).
  • Pregabalin (Lyrica).

Pain that does not respond to these medicines can sometimes be treated with an injection of long-acting anesthetic.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
Last Revised February 15, 2012

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