What can be done to decrease the severity of peripheral neuropathy experienced by patients receiving chemotherapy?
Peripheral neuropathy related to chemotherapy is often found to subside with time. However, no one wants to just wait! Remind patients that reporting tingling or pain early on will allow for earlier intervention, which can decrease overall severity. Pain can be treated with painkillers (OTC drugs for mild pain; prescription agents for more severe symptoms). Antiseizure medications (eg, gabapentin, pregabalin, carbamazepine) often help, as do some antidepressants (nortriptyline or duloxetine). Along with early reporting, teaching patients to avoid prolonged pressure, adopt healthy dietary habits, and avoid activities that can cause nerve damage aid in decreasing the severity of symptoms experienced. — Rosemarie A. Tucci, RN, MSN