The medications listed below are potentially toxic to CMT patients. Vincristine has been proven hazardous and should be avoided by all CMT patients, including those with no symptoms. Taxols also pose a high risk to people with CMT. The remainder of the medications listed below present varying degrees of potential risk for worsening CMT neuropathy.
Before taking any medication or changing medication, all CMT patients should make sure the treating physician is fully aware of their medical condition.
Nitrous oxide (inhalation abuse or Vitamin B12 deficiency)
Perhexiline (not used in U.S.)
Pyridoxine (Although megadoses [10 times or more the RDA] of Vitamin B6 may be harmful, high intakes of vitamin B6 from food sources have not been reported to cause adverse effects.) NIH Fact Sheet
Stavudine (d4T, Zerit)
Zalcitabine (ddC, Hivid)
Uncertain or Minor Risk
Almitrine (not in U.S.)
Cytarabine (high dose)
Tacrolimus (FK506, ProGraf)
Zimeldine (not in U.S.)
Negligible or Doubtful Risk
A Note about Alcohol
Alcohol was removed from the neurotoxic drug list in July 2004. While people with CMT generally suffer no ill effects from the moderate consumption of alcohol, they should be particularly mindful of the fact that alcohol affects balance and coordination, and that overconsumption of alcohol is generally not recommend under any circumstances. If you have questions about alcohol and your health, consult your physician.
Neurotoxic Medications and Worsening of Neuropathy:
The Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association has long maintained this “Medical Alert” list of potentially neurotoxic medications. It is published on this webpage, in the organization’s quarterly magazine, The CMTA Report, and in a brochure that is distributed along with a “Dear Medical Professional” letter advising physicians treating CMT patients that they should consider the potential risk of prescribing drugs known to have neurotoxic properties. The list is also freely copied and republished.
Click here for an in-depth summary of a study on neurotoxic medications and how they affect CMT patients.
Full Medical Alert Table
The Medical Alert table groups neurotoxic medications by risk category and generic name and provides information about brand names, manufacturers and labeled uses.
The Dear Medical Professional Letter has a brief description of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and the neurotoxic drug list. Give a copy to your physician and any other medical professional who is involved in your care and treatment.