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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Essential Tremor: Treatment & Monitoring

Essential Tremor

Alternate Names : Benign Essential Tremor, Senile Tremor, Idiopathic Tremor, ET

Essential Tremor | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

First-choice medicines used to treat this condition include:

  • propranolol, a beta-blocker
  • primidone, an anticonvulsant
  • Propanolol is used more often in younger people, while primidone is often the first choice for the older person. At times, these medicines may even be used together. When neither of those medicines helps, clonazepam may be used. Early treatment is key, because it will often prevent disability.

    Other medicines sometimes used to treat ET include:

  • benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam, alprazolam, or diazepam
  • nadolol, a heart medicine
  • methazolamide
  • gabapentin
  • Doctors can also do a surgery that stimulates the thalamus, which is the part of the brain that relays sensory information. But this treatment is only used in severe cases, which do not respond to medicine.

    Physical therapy can help a person adapt to the tremors. One- to two-pound weights strapped to the wrists may help make hands more steady.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Potential side effects of the medicines used include:

  • fatigue
  • light-headedness
  • sleepiness
  • Potential risks of surgery include infection and bleeding in the brain.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    The tremors will often improve with medicine or surgery. But they can rarely be completely stopped. A person may find that symptoms grow worse with time, but this varies.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the doctor.

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    Essential Tremor: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Michael Curiel, MD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 04/08/02

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