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What are treatments for diabetic neuropathy?
While diabetic neuropathy cannot be cured, there are treatments available to
help manage some of the symptoms. Another treatment goal is keeping blood
glucose levels under good control so that the neuropathy does not worsen.
The pain of diabetic neuropathy can sometimes be managed with certain
medications. Certain prescription antidepressants and antiseizure medications
have been shown to be effective in relieving pain that originates in the nerves.
For example, duloxetine (Cymbalta) is an antidepressant that can relieve the
pain of diabetic neuropathy in some people. The tricyclic antidepressant drugs,
(Pamelor, Aventyl) and
(Norpramin), have also been used for this purpose.
Anti-seizure drugs such as
gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and
pregabalin (Lyrica) are drugs that can also work to relieve pain in people with diabetic
In severe cases, opioid analgesic medications may be needed.
kinds of treatment for nerve pain include patches containing the topical
anesthetic agent lidocaine. Capsaicin cream is an over-the-counter topical agent
that has been shown to relieve nerve pain.
Medications can also help manage the troublesome symptoms of autonomic
neuropathy. For example, antispasmodic or anticholinergic drugs can help prevent
urinary incontinence. Drugs to treat erectile dysfunction like sildenafil
(Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) may help some men with ED
due to diabetic neuropathy. For women, vaginal estrogen creams and lubricants
may provide relief of vaginal dryness and irritation.
Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections
have been used to treat abnormal sweating.