Warner-Lambert Working on Drug That Could Prevent Neuropathy

| Apr 1, 1999

Warner-Lambert is now testing a potential drug it calls Zenarestat that could prevent neuropathy. Several medications treat neuropathy pain, but according to Howard Foyt, MD, PhD, director of clinical research, diabetes and metabolic diseases for Warner-Lambert, there is none available for preventing or reducing the risk of neuropathy.

"Right now, doctors prescribe antidepressants, capsaicin or even Neurontin [a Warner-Lambert drug used for the treatment of epilepsy] to treat neuropathy-related pain," explains Foyt. "None of these affects the natural history of diabetes, or does anything to inhibit the progression of the disease."

Zenarestat is an aldose reductase inhibitor (ARI) that, according to Warner-Lambert, reduces sorbitol levels in human tissues and improves nerve fiber density. According to Foyt, blood sugar can become sorbitol in a person with diabetes, which can lead to neuropathy, kidney disease and retinopathy complications.

About 60 percent of people with diabetes suffer from some type of nerve damage.

"Zenarestat is a second-generation ARI which has been documented to get into the tissues and nerves, and significantly lower sorbitol levels without causing skin reactions or liver toxicity," says Foyt.

Nerve conduction velocity (how fast a nerve conducts electrical impulses) increased by 1 to 1.5 meters per second over the 12-month test period in people who took Zenarestat, while a placebo group's nerve conduction velocity decreased. Additionally, nerve fiber density increased in the Zenarestat group and decreased in the placebo group.

"Any patient with diabetes, even if he or she has excellent glycemic control, is still at risk for neuropathy complications," says Foyt. "By reducing sorbitol levels, this drug is aimed at further reducing your risk for either the development or progression of diabetic neuropathy."

Warner-Lambert is in the final stages of testing for Zenarestat. Presently, there is one study in the United States and one in Europe. Based on the results of those studies, Warner-Lambert will apply for FDA approval.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Nerve Care (Neuropathy)

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.