Diabetic Neuropathy - Effective Treatments

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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, including nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl) and desipramine (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 neuropathy.

In severe cases, opioid analgesic medications may be needed.

Other 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.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: MissyGayle, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

The best and just about only effective treatment for my diabetic neuropathy has been Neurontin, Lyrica and an opioid pain reliever. One does not work without the other. Anyone who says they get relief with just an opioid pain reliever is not suffering from neuropathy, in my opinion. I have had neuropathy for 22 years and believe I have tried every treatment known.

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Comment from: jeff, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

I've had periodic neuropathy nerve pain in my hands and feet for 9 months now. I control the pain by decreasing my sugar intake and using oregano oil with P 73 at bedtime and it works well. Wipe down hand and feet with rubbing alcohol and apply the oregano oil.

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