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Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) is a condition that affects many who have diabetes. DPN has been historically difficult to treat, most commonly affects the feet and ankles, and can be severe at times.
Researchers examined the effects of the drug Neurontin on 165 patients who suffer from DPN. The results of the double-blind, eight-week study were published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Patients were either given Neurontin or a placebo, and pain severity was measured on a 10-point scale (0-no pain; 10-worst possible pain). Secondary symptoms included sleep deprivation.
Results of the study showed that Neurontin-treated patients registered a lower daily pain score (3.9) at the end of the study than the placebo-treated group (5.1). Additionally, 26 percent of the patients taking Neurontin were pain free at the end of the study, compared to 15 percent of the patients treated with the placebo. Neurontin-treated patients also complained less of sleep deprivation.
"Neurontin substantially reduced neuropathic pain and was well tolerated," says Edwards. "Significant pain reduction was observed in some patients after only two weeks of treatment. All of these findings combined are clinically important."
The researchers concluded that Neurontin therapy appears to be effective in treating pain and sleep deprivation associated with DPN.
Neurontin is marketed by Parke-Davis, and has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of epilepsy.
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