How should I manage an essential tremor?
Q: I am 58 years old with systemic hypertension, coronary artery disease, PTCCA to LAD & LCX. I am asthmatic and on an inhaler. I am a ex-smoker and an occasional drinker. Both my hands shake uncontrollably. My mother had Parkinson's disease. Recently, I was diagnosed with essential tremor (ET) and prescribed Mysoline 250 mg (1\4-1\2) & Topinol 15 mg 0-0-1. I find a little improvement in the stability of my hands. Am I on the right path of medication, considering the cardiac medicines I am taking? Will I be able to control the involuntary movement of my hands with these medicines? For how long should I take these medicines? Can I drink occasionally? Should I avoid Mysoline and Topinol when I am drinking?
A:I take ET to represent Essential tremor. This is term used by neurophysicians when they can find no obvious cause for tremors of the limbs. Such a diagnosis is made after excluding diseases such as Parkinson's disease. Essential tremors are usually non-progressive and can, to some extent, be controlled by drugs such as those prescribed by your doctor. Some patients have also benefited by such measures as meditation and the practice of yoga. Your doctor will advise you on how long you must take the medicines prescribed. Alcohol and tobacco worsens tremors and are thus best avoided.