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    • Life With Multiple Myeloma
    • Jul 19, 2019

    Multiple Myeloma Side Effects: Neuropathy

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If you are starting a new treatment or using supplements, you should discuss it with your doctor.

Neuropathy is weakness, numbness, and pain from nerve damage (typically in the hands and feet). The myeloma protein produced by malignant plasma cells can cause direct damage to nerve cells, resulting in symptoms of neuropathy.

We asked myeloma patients what they did to relive peripheral neuropathy. Their answers included: 

Prescription Medications

  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
  • Lyrica (Pregabalin)
  • Lidocaine patch
  • Celebrex for pain
  • Opioids for severe pain
  • Elavil (Amitriptyline) for pain
  • Effexor XR for pain
  • Capsaicin cream OTC or RX (may cause pain first use)

Supplements

  • Fish oils–Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA (1-2 one gram capsules daily with food)
  • Magnesium (250 mg twice daily)
  • Potassium–spinach, squash, bananas, oranges, potatoes
  • Tonic water (one glass in evening or when pain occurs)
  • Apple cider vinegar (2 tsp for muscle cramps)

Antioxidants

  • Neuronorm
  • Alpha-lipoic acid ALA (300-600 mg daily)
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine (500 mg twice daily with food)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Glutamine (30 g daily)
  • Vitamin B6 (50-100 mg daily)
  • Multi-B complex–B1, B6, B12, folic acid
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin E (400 IU daily)
  • Vitamin D (400-800 IU daily)
  • Turmeric (Curcumin)
  • Vitamin C

Topical Treatments

  • Capsaicin cream OTC or RX (may cause pain first use)
  • Menthol-based creams, such as Vicks rub
  • Olbas oil
  • Cocoa butter cream
  • CBD lotion, salve or oil
  • Burt’s Bees hand salve 
  • Frankincense lotion
  • Magnesium lotion
  • Penetrex
  • DDR Prime essential oil by DoTerra

Self Management

  • Exercise to maintain blood flow–swimming, biking, etc
  • Specific neuropathy exercises–calf raises, calf stretches, ankle circles, leg lifts, finger taps, finger rolls
  • Shoes–avoid tight-fitting shoes and socks, wear shoes with wide toe box
  • Well-fitting wool socks
  • Soak feet in warm vibrating foot bath
  • Massage with cocoa butter cream to increase circulation and promote relaxation
  • Acupuncture
  • Sleep in knit gloves to soothe and warm hands
  • Keep home at a comfortable temperature
  • Use alcohol only in moderation
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty fruits and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water

Physician Interventions

  • Dose reduction of drugs associated with neuropathy to avoid worsening symptoms
  • Treatment change–from Velcade to Kryprolis or Ninlaro
  • Treatment change–from Velcade infusion to injection
  • Referral to physical therapy to help with balance, strength and safety
  • Referral to occupational therapy to help with fine motor skills

About Author

Erika Johnson

Myeloma Crowd Editorial Contributor, Nursing student, and cancer advocate.

3 Comments

  1. Teri Brewer July 20, 2019 at 4:32 am

    Really a useful summary of treatments and approaches. . I have not had much issue with this but have use the self management techniques for what few neuropathic twinges I have felt at times and this has worked so far. This expands my possible range if more is needed. Thank you.

  2. Pat hedrington-hughes July 20, 2019 at 5:28 am

    I deveped it in my hands, CBD oil helps a lot. I would say about 90%.

  3. Mary July 21, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for input and sharing. I have numbness but no pain. I notice B- complex helps with numbness for me. I cycle in summer and skate ski in winter and off season hike. Walking helps the most.

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