The currently available medical treatments for essential tremor are symptomatic and not curative. This means that the severity of essential tremor can be decreased by medication but that the tremor will not be cured. There is no medication that will permanently remove essential tremor from a person who is affected by it.
Initially many patients prefer to receive treatment for essential tremor intermittently and not regularly. The occasional use of alcohol, propranalol, primidone or benzodiazepines (clonazepam) in high stress situations, for example important social events or work engagements, is common and the potential risks involved in taking these medications in this way are moderately small, providing that the person concerned uses these drugs in a sensible way.
The evidence from carefully conducted clinical trials has been carefully analysed and made available to support the use of specific treatments for ET. The quality of the evidence to support a given treatment has been classified into the following levels:
Level A: The treatment is effective at reducing the severity of ET.
Level B: The treatment is probably effective at reducing the severity of ET.
Level C: The treatment is possibly effective at reducing the severity of ET.
Level U: There is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation about the treatment for ET.
b) Long acting propranolol
c) Botulinum toxin (for head or voice tremor)
a) Alcohol (ethanol) - Alcohol will temporarily improve the tremor in 50% of ET individuals. Typically 2 units of alcohol will suppress essential tremor for about 4 hours. There is often a rebound worsening of tremor the next morning.
b) Cannabis – There is no evidence to support the use of cannabis for essential tremor.