Can gabapentin be used as symptomatic treatment for painful neuropathy in patients with diabetes mellitus?
Pain is the most disturbing symptom of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Around 45% of patient with diabetes mellitus develop peripheral neuropathy. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of gabapentin monotherapy on pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, eight week trial was conducted in 165 patients. Results showed that gabapentin treated patients mean daily pain score at the study end point was significantly lower as compared to the placebo treated patient. Gabapentin monotherapy appeared to be efficacious for the treatment of pain and sleep interference associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and exhibits positive effects on mood and quality of life.
Gabapentin dosage for diabetic neuropathic pain
An analysis was conducted which includes four placebo controlled trials of gabapentin with a dose of 900 mg to 3600 mg for treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. The result showed that 64% of patients improved on gabapentin as compared with placebo controlled. A recent crossover design study compared nortriptyline, gabapentin and combination of both in 56 patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. Patients administered each treatment for six weeks, followed by one week taper and one week washout phase. Pain scores were significantly lowered during combination phase than for either treatment alone. Gabapentin monotherapy and nortriptyline monotherapy were significantly effective. Drowsiness and low concentration are the side effects of combination drugs that is gabapentin and nortriptyline.