Multiple Myeloma Side Effects: Neuropathy
Posted: Jul 19, 2019
Multiple Myeloma Side Effects: Neuropathy image

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)


  • 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)


  • 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
The author Erika Johnson

about the author
Erika Johnson

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

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