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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Anxiety and Stress Disorders
Familial Tremors Triggered by Stress
I`m a 53 yr old male that has `famial tremors` in the form of my head quivering, but only when talking to someone when I`m upset or very nervous. I`m not on medication and know that the ones commonly used have side effects that I don`t want (impotence, fatigue, etc). It`s my understanding that these drugs, like Mysoline, require continous use, but I don`t want to take a drug continuously (due the side effects and cost), especially when I only need to control my symptoms at certain times. Can these or other medications be used as needed beforehand, i.e, when I know I`ll be in a certain situation that may trigger my symptom?
I would encourage you to talk to your primary care physician or neurologist about the details of medications for you specifically. Stress and anxiety are certainly triggers for worsening a familial (also known as an essential) tremor. Make sure you are trying to decrease other triggers in your life as well (for example, caffeine, insufficient sleep, etc.)
Depending on the severity of the tremor, some medications are taken regularly, others only intermittently. Most medications take anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes to several hours to take effect, so it depends on how severe and how long your tremors last as to whether an "as needed" medication would work for you.
Nancy Elder, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati