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Familial tremor

  • Alternative Names

    Tremor - familial


    Treatment may not be necessary unless the tremors interfere with your ability to perform daily activities.

    How well medicine works depends on the individual patient.

    Medications that may reduce tremors include propranolol, Mysoline and other anticonvulsants, and mild tranquilizers. If tremors are severe and do not go away with medicine, surgery to implant a deep brain stimulator (DBS) in the brain may be an option.

    Caffeine (in substances such as coffee and soda) and other stimulants should be avoided because they can make tremors worse.

    Alcoholic beverages in small quantities may decrease the tremors, but drinking should be carefully monitored to avoid alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, especially if there is a family history of alcohol problems. How alcohol decreases an essential tremor is unknown.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    A familial tremor is not a dangerous condition, but some patients may find the shaking annoying and embarrassing. Severe tremors can mildly interfere with activities, especially fine-motor skills such as writing. The patient may have trouble when trying to eat. Speech problems occasionally occur.


    Side effects of medications may cause complications.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if tremors occur and there is a family history of tremors or if a familial tremor is interfering with ability to perform daily activities.

    Call your health care provider if side effects of medications occur, such as fainting, very slow heart rate, confusion or changes in alertness, or prolonged nausea/vomiting.