Brachial Neuritis Medication

Updated: Oct 19, 2021
  • Author: Nigel L Ashworth, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Medication Summary

The goal of pharmacotherapy is to reduce morbidity, provide therapeutic analgesia, and prevent complications.



Class Summary

Analgesics ensure patient comfort, promote pulmonary toilet, and have sedating properties beneficial to patients who have sustained trauma or who experience pain. These agents are necessary for initial pain control. [7]

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Panadol, Aspirin Free Anacin)

DOC for pain in patients with documented hypersensitivity to aspirin or NSAIDs, who have been diagnosed with upper GI disease, or who are on oral anticoagulants.

Acetaminophen and codeine (Tylenol #3)

Indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate pain.

Hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen (Vicodin ES)

Drug combination indicated for moderate to severe pain.

Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet)

Drug combination indicated for the relief of moderate to severe pain. DOC for aspirin hypersensitive patients.


Antidepressants, TCAs

Class Summary

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a complex group of drugs that have central and peripheral anticholinergic effects and sedative effects. They block the active reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.

Nortriptyline (Pamelor)

Low-dose tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) medication for neuropathic pain management. Nortriptyline has demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of chronic pain. It increases the synaptic concentration of serotonin and norepinephrine in the central nervous system (CNS) by inhibiting their reuptake by the presynaptic neuronal membrane. Additional pharmacodynamic effects, such as desensitization of adenyl cyclase and down-regulation of beta-adrenergic receptors and serotonin receptors, appear to play roles. (Off-label use for this diagnosis)

Doxepin (Silenor)

Low-dose tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) medication for neuropathic pain management. Doxepin increases the concentration of serotonin and norepinephrine in the CNS by inhibiting their reuptake by presynaptic neuronal membrane. It inhibits histamine and acetylcholine activity and has proven useful in treatment of various forms of depression associated with chronic pain. (Off-label use for this diagnosis)


GABA Analogs

Class Summary

GABA analogs are used to alleviate painful dysesthesias, which frequently accompany peripheral neuropathies. Although they have many different mechanisms of action, their use for alleviating neuropathic pain probably depends on their general tendency to reduce neuronal excitability.

Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Neuraptine, Fanatrex FusePaq)

Gabapentin has properties common to other anticonvulsants and exerts antineuralgic effects. Its exact mechanism of action is not known. Gabapentin is structurally related to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) but does not interact with GABA receptors. It has efficacy at the alpha2-delta subunit. (Off-label use for this condition)

Pregabalin (Lyrica, Lyrica CR)

Pregabalin is a structural derivative of GABA. Its mechanism of action is unknown; it is known to bind with high affinity to alpha2-delta subunits of calcium channels. In vitro, pregabalin reduces calcium-dependent release of several neurotransmitters, possibly by modulating calcium-channel function. (Off-label use for this condition)