ZocdocAnswersCan pain killers affect the results of a nerve conduction study?

Question

Can pain killers affect the results of a nerve conduction study?

I am to have nerve conduction study in upper front leg and thoracic spine? Does pain rx., affects the results of the test? Very scared, want to cancel!

Answer

Nerve conduction studies are used to investigate how well the nerves in the body work. These studies are typically done when there is a question about potential nerve damage, for example from an injury or from diabetes. Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether symptoms like pain or numbness or weakness are coming from nerve damage or from another cause, and nerve conduction studies are designed to answer this question. This answer can potentially be very valuable, because it may change the way your symptoms are being treated. Nerve conduction studies are not difficult, and they are tolerated very well by most people. Basically, small probes are used to send small electrical impulses through the nerves and muscles, and the time these impulses take to travel are measured. There are a couple of types of medication that can affect the results of a nerve conduction study. In particular, muscle relaxants have to be stopped before the study. Similarly, medications with anti cholinergic side effects, such as certain anti histamines and medications used to treat nerve pain, will also need to be stopped. I suggest that you contact your neurologist to get the full list of instructions in preparation for the procedure!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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