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Please be aware that mask-wearing is required at all UNC Health facilities.

Tremor

A tremor is an involuntary, repetitive, rhythmic shaking or twitching movement. Tremors usually affect the hands and head, but may occasionally occur in the feet or torso.

Essential tremor, which sometimes runs in families, is one of the most common types of tremors. It causes shaking that is most noticeable when the person is doing something like lifting a cup or pointing at an object. The tremor may also affect the person's voice. The shaking caused by essential tremor only occurs when a person moves. Medication can help reduce the shaking.

Tremors can also be caused by caffeine and conditions or medications that affect the nervous system, including:

  • Parkinson's disease.
  • Liver failure.
  • Alcohol use disorder.
  • Drug and alcohol withdrawal.
  • Mercury or arsenic poisoning.
  • Medications such as lithium, drugs taken for arrhythmias and high blood pressure, tricyclic antidepressants, and theophylline.

Decision Points

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Interactive Tools

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Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.