- Drug treatment of sciatica: which drugs can help
- Injections and antidepressants
Epidural steroid injections
Sometimes the treatment of pain in sciatica resort to injection of corticosteroids (also known as "steroids"). Injections are made directly into the epidural space, the outer shell covering the spine.
Injections are made as close to the proposed site of damage to the nerve roots. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation.
These studies determining the effectiveness of epidural steroid injections for inflammation of the sciatic nerve and treatment of back pain, are rather contradictory. There are no studies that have shown that injection of steroids provide stable positive improvement in the majority of patients, compared to a more conservative treatment. However, according to some reports, steroid injections provide short-term relief of pain, usually in 1-2 months.
Epidural steroid injections can have serious and painful side effects, including meningitis
Meningitis - an inflammation of the meninges
and inflammation. However, the risk of these side effects is very low.
Epidural steroid injections in the spinal canal stenosis provide short-term relief of pain, but generally do not improve the condition of the patient, and do not help patients avoid surgery.
Injections of botulinum toxin
Scientists are now studying the possibility of an effective and safe use of injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) to relieve back pain and lower back. Botox is traditionally used to treat wrinkles and other neuromuscular disorders. In a small number of marginally Botox paralyzes the muscle at the time of the fabric. Some studies have shown that Botox may be useful in chronic low back pain, but its role in the treatment of pain associated with sciatica is not established yet.
Several studies show that antidepressants can reduce the pain of sciatica in some patients, although they have little effect on their condition.
Antidepressants - a psychotropic drugs used primarily to treat depression
Depression - a little more than a bad mood
. Tricyclic antidepressants can be an effective painkiller for people suffering from chronic back pain. These antidepressants are amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinekvan), imipramine (Tofranil), amoxapine (Asedin), nortriptyline (Pamelor, Avent) and maprotiline (Lyudiomil).
Tricyclic antidepressants may have serious side effects. However, experts believe that these drugs can be effectively used, but this requires further study.
Muscle relaxants (neuromuscular blocking agents)
The combination of NSAIDs and muscle relaxants - such as cyclobenzaprine (Flexer), diazepam (Valium), carisoprodol (Soma), and methocarbamol (Robaksin) - sometimes used to treat patients with acute low back pain.
According to some reports, muscle relaxants help to reduce non-specific low back pain, but some experts warn that these drugs should be used with caution, since their action is directed to the brain, rather than muscles. Patients taking muscle relaxants may be some side effects in the central nervous system, such as drowsiness and muscle relaxant Soma may be habit-forming.
Herbal and nutritional supplements
As a rule, manufacturers of herbal medicines and food additives
Food additives - basic classification
It does not require official permission to sell their products. But, as synthetic drugs, herbal medicines and an additive effect on the chemical in the organism, and therefore may have adverse side effects. Known cases of serious complications and even death as a result of taking the drugs from plant material.
Most of the herbal remedies used to treat back pain, allegedly have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, but few of them are more effective than placebo
Placebo - an effective tool for self-hypnosis
. White willow bark, bromelain and boswellia have the ability to thin the blood, and therefore interact with anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin). Always consult a doctor before using any herbal remedies or dietary supplements.