With the use of medication, people with essential tremor may see improvement in their ability to control their tremor and improvement in activities such as drinking from a cup or using food utensils. More specialized motor functions, such as being able to thread a needle, may still be too difficult. However, for most people, essential tremor is not disabling.
A seizure originating in the temporal lobe of the brain may be preceded by an aura or warning symptom, such as:
Abnormal sensations (which may include a rising or "funny" feeling under your breast bone or in the area of your stomach)
Hallucinations (including sights, smells, tastes)
Vivid deja vu (a sense of familiarity) or recalled memories or emotions
A sudden, intense emotion not related to anything happening at the time
During the seizure, a person may experience motor disturbances,...
Your health care provider will determine which treatment is best for you based on your medical history. The goal of treatment is to help provide maximum improvement in function while minimizing the side effects of the medication you are taking.
For people with mild essential tremor, drug therapy is usually not necessary. Tremors may be lessened by minimizing exposure to emotional stress and avoiding substances, such as caffeine and nicotine, which may increase tremor. In social situations, a person with mild tremor can take a beta-blocker or drink a small amount of alcohol, if such treatments are approved by a doctor. Although alcohol may lessen the tremor, there is the danger of slowly increasing your intake.
Beta-Blockers for Essential Tremor
The beta-blocker Inderal (propranolol) has been used to treat essential tremor for more than 40 years. Other beta-blockers such as Lopressor also may be effective.
It is not clear how Inderal reduces tremors, but the drug may work by blocking nerve impulses to the muscles. Approximately 50% to 60% of people taking Inderal experience some improvement in function, but total tremor suppression usually is not achieved. The greatest improvement is in hand and voice tremors. The drugs may be taken once a day (for longer-acting formulation) or twice a day, depending upon the formulation used.
Side Effects of Beta-Blockers
Beta-blockers are not right for everyone with essential tremor. Side effects of beta-blockers may include: