A drug-induced tremor is a tremor that’s caused by taking a drug. A tremor is a rhythmic, uncontrollable movement of part of the body. This shaking movement is usually quick and tends to occur in cycles lasting six to 10 seconds. Drug-induced tremors may be referred to as drug-induced Parkinson’s (DIP). Drug-induced tremors can occur when you move your body in certain positions. Find out how to better manage drug-induced tremors if you are struggling.
Symptoms of Tremors
Most tremors occur in the hands. They may also occur in the:
- Vocal cords
Drug-induced tremors may cause your head to shake or nod uncontrollably. The tremors may not happen all the time, but they’re likely to occur within the first hour of taking medication. The tremors may not happen all the time, but they’re likely to occur within the first hour of taking medication. Tremors usually stop when you’re asleep and may worsen when under stress.
Drug-induced tremors are often caused by the brain’s response to chemicals in certain medications. Drug-induced tremors may also occur as a result of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Anticonvulsant drugs are most of the common causes of drug-induced tremors. Bronchodilators, commonly used in treatment of conditions like asthma, may also cause tremors. Immunosuppressants, used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, can also lead to drug-induced tremors. Caffeine is a stimulant and may also have this effect.
A doctor will ask you to stop taking the drug causing the tremors. This may happen after talking with your doctor about the risks and benefits associated with stopping therapy your doctor may discuss possible alternative treatments with you. Your symptoms may not resolve immediately after stopping the medication. Symptoms usually subside in four months, maybe as long as up to 18 months.
Drug-Induced Tremors Risks
Anyone can develop tremors from medication. Some people who are at higher risk need to be aware of the increased possibility of this happening. This includes:
- People infected with HIV
- Anyone with a history of dementia
It helps to speak with your doctor about medications you’re taking and consult them before adding over-the-counter medications. Stimulant medications and drugs should be used with caution.
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