Author(s): Smith HS, Argoff CE
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Abstract Neuropathic pain continues to be a difficult and challenging clinical issue to deal with effectively. Painful diabetic polyneuropathy is a complex pain condition that occurs with reasonable frequency in the population and it may be extremely difficult for clinicians to provide patients with effective analgesia. Chronic neuropathic pain may occur in approximately one of every four diabetic patients. The pain may be described as burning or a deep-seated ache with sporadic paroxysms of lancinating painful exacerbations. The pain is often constant, moderate to severe in intensity, usually primarily involves the feet and generally tends to worsen at night. Treatment may be multimodal but largely involves pharmacological approaches. Pharmacological therapeutic options include antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), α2δ ligands and topical (5\%) lidocaine patch. Other agents may be different antiepileptic drugs (carbamazepine, lamotrigine, topiramate), topical capsaicin, tramadol and other opioids. Progress continues with respect to understanding various mechanisms that may contribute to painful diabetic neuropathy. Agents that may hold some promise include neurotrophic factors, growth factors, immunomodulators, gene therapy and poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase inhibitors. It is hoped that in the future clinicians will be able to assess patient pathophysiology, which may help them to match optimal therapeutic agents to target individual patient aberrant mechanisms.
This article was published in Drugs
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism