Peripheral Neuropathy - Multiple Myeloma Center for Nurses

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to or dysfunction of the peripheral motor and sensory nerves, commonly occurring as a side effect of certain antimyeloma therapies.1

It can also be disease related: production of M-protein can interfere with blood clotting and circulation, potentially causing nerve damage.1,2

Signs and Symptoms

  • Patients can experience a range of symptoms, including numbness, burning pain, muscle cramping, and heightened sensitivity to temperature. These can negatively impact a patient’s quality of life and ability to receive or adhere to treatment. They can be cumulative over the course of disease and treatment1
  • Patient self-reports are key to evaluation, and a neurosensory exam of extremities can also be conducted to check reflexes, posture, tone, and response to certain sensations. Additional neurotoxicity assessment and nerve conduction studies may be warranted in some patients1
  • Patients should be advised to report any difficulties with walking or fine motor skills, such as buttoning clothing, and to take B-complex vitamins and folic acid prior to treatment initiation1


  1. Faiman B, Doss D, Colson K, et al; for the International Myeloma Foundation Nurse Leadership Board. Renal, GI, and peripheral nerves: evidence-based recommendations for the management of symptoms and care for patients with multiple myeloma. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2017;21(5 suppl):19-36.
  2. Durie BGM. Patient handbook. 2018 ed. International Myeloma Foundation website. Accessed May 13, 2021.