Treatment is used to ease symptoms; the most frequently used medicines are propranolol, a medicine usually used to control high blood pressure, and primidone, an anti-convulsant. How these agents work to manage tremor is unknown but they do seem to help in many patients.

Other drugs that can help are:

  • Gabapentin and topiramate: both are anti-convulsant drugs and they help to reduce shaking.
  • Alprazolam and clonazepam: these anti-anxiety or tranquiliser drugs are often prescribed.
  • Flunarizine and nimodipine: both are used to control blood pressure, but again help with tremor symptoms.

Learning to cope with essential tremor

People with essential tremor can feel better if they take control by changing their lifestyle. These are all worth trying:

  • Doing yoga or other exercises to relax
  • Avoiding caffeinated drinks
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoiding stressful situations or becoming over-tired
  • Using alternative therapies such as reflexology, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, massage therapy, or acupuncture

Other good coping strategies include using heavier utensils for eating, drinking through a straw, or using wrist weights. Physiotherapy or exercise such as swimming can also help your limbs become strong and flexible and you can try improving your diet. Weight loss can be a problem because your muscles are burning off so much energy in all those extra movements.

A healthy diet, not too high in red meat (some evidence shows eating red meat increases symptoms), and rich in fruit, vegetables, lean protein and complex carbohydrates may help you feel better generally.