Contraindicated Drugs

The list below is taken from the website of the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association, and is current as of April 2017.

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.

Alternate formats

An expanded Medical Alert table may be downloaded here: Medical_Alert_Full_Web_4-2017.pdf  We suggest you print it out and give a copy to your primary care physician.

You can access the Medical Alert list of neurotoxic drugs on the CMTA app. Download the app now at https://appsto.re/us/u3IM8.i for iPhones, or https://goo.gl/lNpPxF for Android. You can also search for CMTA in the App Store.

For a minimum donation of $10 the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation will send you a wallet-sized card with the list printed on it.

Definite High Risk (including asymptomatic CMT)

Vinca alkaloids (Vincristine)
Taxols (paclitaxel, docetaxel, cabazitaxel)

Moderate to Significant Risk

Amiodarone (Cordarone)
Arsenic Trioxide (Trisenox)
Bortezomib (Velcade)
Brentuximab Vedotin(Adcetris)
Cetuximab (Erbitux)
Cisplatin & Oxaliplatin
Colchicine (extended use)
Dapsone
Didanosine (ddI, Videx)
Dichloroacetate
Disulfiram (Antabuse)
Eribulin (Halaven)
Fluoroquinolones
Gold salts
Ipilimumab (Yervoy)
Ixabepilone (Ixempra)
Leflunomide (Arava)
Lenalidomide (Revlimid)
Metronidazole/Misonidazole (extended use)
Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin, Macrobid)
Nitrous oxide (inhalation abuse or Vitamin B12 deficiency)
Nivolumab (Opdivo)
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)
Perhexiline (not used in U.S.)
Pertuzumab (Perjeta)
Pomalidomide (Pomalyst)
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)
Suramin
Thalidomide
Zalcitabine (ddC, Hivid)

Uncertain or Minor Risk

5-Fluoracil
Adriamycin
Almitrine (not in U.S.)
Chloroquine
Cytarabine (high dose)
Ethambutol
Etoposide (VP-16)
Gemcitabine
Griseofulvin
Hexamethylmelamine
Hydralazine
Ifosphamide
Infliximab
Isoniazid (INH)
Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
Mefloquine
Omeprazole (Prilosec)
Penicillamine
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Podophyllin resin
Sertraline (Zoloft)
Statins
Tacrolimus (FK506, ProGraf)
Zimeldine (not in U.S.)
a-Interferon

Negligible or Doubtful Risk

Allopurinol
Amitriptyline
Chloramphenicol
Chlorprothixene
Cimetidine
Clioquinil
Clofibrate
Cyclosporin A
Enalapril
Gluthethimide
Lithium
Phenelzine
Propafenone
Sulfonamides
Sulphasalzine

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.