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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment

Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Cost


How Much Does Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Cost?

 
low costWith Health Insurance: Doctor/Drug Copays, 10%-50% Coinsuranceaverage costWithout Health Insurance: $14-$500+ a Month for Drugshigh costTENS Medical Device: $200-$700+
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Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that occurs when the peripheral nervous system functions abnormally or is somehow damaged, whether by injuries, infections, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes or certain diseases.

Typical costs:

  • For mild symptoms, a doctor may recommend over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (ibuprofen or similar products), which cost about $5 -$25, depending on the quantity and whether the patient buys a name brand or its generic equivalent. A doctor may also recommend that the patient use an over-the-counter cream containing capsaicin, a naturally occurring chemical found in hot peppers, which, according to the Mayo Clinic may bring about modest improvement. At drugstore.com, such creams range in cost from $8 to $25. For example, a 1.5 oz tube of Walgreen's Capsaicin Cream[1] costs $11.
  • For more serious, long-term problems, a patient will likely need prescription drugs or other methods of pain management. Health insurers will typically cover standard, well-established treatment[2] for peripheral neuropathy. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of doctor visit copays, prescription drug copays and coinsurance of 10%-50% or more.
  • Prescription drugs often used to relieve nerve pain caused by peripheral neuropathy include anti-seizure medications and antidepressants. According to Consumer Reports' Best Buy Drugs program[3] , anti-seizure medications [4] such as gabapentin and pregabalin (Lyrica) typically cost between $14 and $500 or more for a month's supply, while the cost for commonly prescribed antidepressants[5] can range from about $20 a month to more than $400 a month, depending on the specific drug, its dosage, and whether a patient requests a brand name or generic version.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)[6] , a non-invasive medical device that uses electrodes to deliver an electrical current, may also be an option for pain control, and typically ranges in cost from a few hundred dollars to $700 or more. TENS units are not be covered by some insurers; for example Aetna[7] , which covers the therapy for short-term post operative pain, considers it experimental and investigational for neuropathic pain.
Related articles: Pain Management, Blood Tests, EMG Test, MRI

What should be included:
  • Symptoms[8] depend on the specific nerves affected and may be temporary (i.e. numbness, muscle weakness), or more extreme (paralysis or organ dysfunction).
  • According to the Mayo Clinic[9] , because peripheral neuropathy can have many causes, diagnosis will typically require tests, including blood tests, electromyography and imaging tests such as an MRI.
  • Treatment[10] will typically entail managing underlying symptoms and controlling pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms may improve over time, particularly if the underlying condition is treated.
Additional costs:
  • Massage, which can cost from $30 to $100 or more, may help to improve symptoms and relive pain.
Discounts:
  • Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital[11] in Orange, CA, for example, patients without health insurance may qualify for a 45% discount off billed charges. The hospital also offers an additional 10% discount if payment is made within 10 days of the patient receiving the bill.
Shopping for peripheral neuropathy treatment:
  • A patient who experiences symptoms[12] such as sharp or jabbing pain in the hands and feet, may be referred by his or her family doctor to a neurologist[13] , a doctor who specializes in disorders of the nervous system.
  • The American Academy of Neurology offers a physician locator[14] .
  • The Neuropathy Association, a national nonprofit that promotes research and education about peripheral neuropathy, has 120 support groups across the country. Patients can check the organization's support group listings[15] to find one in their area.
  • For more information about peripheral neuropathy, the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy offers a patient brochure[16] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.drugstore.com/walgreens-capsaicin-cream/qxp400335?catid=183117
  2.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy/DS00131/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  3.  www.ConsumerReportsHealth.org/BestBuyDrugs
  4.  www.consumerreports.org/health/resources/pdf/best-buy-drugs/Anticonvulsants-FINAL.pdf
  5.  www.consumerreports.org/health/resources/pdf/best-buy-drugs/Antidepressants_update.pdf
  6.  emedicine.medscape.com/article/325107-overview
  7.  www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/1_99/0011.html
  8.  www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm#183583208
  9.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy/DS00131/DSECTION=tests-and-diagnosis
  10.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy/DS00131/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  11.  www.sjo.org/For-Patients/Your-Hospital-Bill/Self-Pay-Discount-Program.aspx
  12.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy/DS00131/DSECTION=symptoms
  13.  www.urmc.rochester.edu/highland/departments-centers/neurology/what-is-a-neurologist.aspx
  14.  patients.aan.com/findaneurologist/
  15.  www.neuropathy.org/site/PageServer?pagename=support_index
  16.  www.foundationforpn.org/pdf/peripheralneuropathypatientbrochure.pdf
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