Pain is a frequent problem for people who have
multiple sclerosis (MS). Medicines that may be used
to bring relief include:
Non-prescription pain relievers. These include
acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as Advil), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine, or nortriptyline, for burning sensations.
Gabapentin (Neurontin). This drug may also help relieve
muscle stiffness and tightness (spasticity).
Health Canada has
approved the use of cannabidiol (Sativex) for treatment of pain caused by MS.
Cannabidiol is made from extracts of the cannabis (marijuana) plant and is
taken as a spray into the mouth. Canada was the first country in the world to
approve a cannabis-based spray for treatment of pain caused by MS.
Pain that does not respond to these medicines can sometimes be
treated with an injection of long-acting anesthetic.
Yadav V, et al. (2014). Summary of evidence-based guideline: Complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis: Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology, 82(12): 1083–1092.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Andrew Swan, MD, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerBarrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology