New generation antidepressants in painful diabetic neuropathy

Angela M. Gutierrez-Alvarez, Carlos B. Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The incidence of diabetic neuropathy increases with the duration of diabetes and the degree of hyperglycaemia. Pain is one of the most common and incapacitating symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and its pharmacological control is complex. The effectiveness of antidepressive agents has been described in different types of neuropathic pain, but their effectiveness, when used as analgesics in painful diabetic neuropathy, still remains controversial. Objective: To review the possible role of new-generation antidepressive agents in the treatment of pain in diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This work has thus consisted of a meta-analysis for determining which antidepressive agent had the best analgesic potential in managing pain in patients suffering from painful diabetic neuropathy. Methods: This search covered the Cochrane, MEDLINE, EMBASE and LILACS databases, between January 2000 and August 2007. The following information was obtained from each article: criteria for diagnosing diabetic neuropathy, patients' age average, antidepressant drug received and dose, sample size, duration of the disease and treatment follow-up, outcome measurement, evaluation of pain and rescue medication. Results: A combined RR: 1.67 (95% CI 1.38 - 2.02) was obtained; this result indicated that the antidepressive agent duloxetine, was effective for controlling pain in diabetic neuropathy. The corresponding NNT for Duloxetine was established, according to our interests; NNT = 6 (95% CI 5- 8) for achieving greater than 50% analgesia in patients suffering from painful diabetic neuropathy. Discussion: Antidepressive agents are frequently employed in the specific case of diabetic neuropathy; their analgesic benefit has been demonstrated.
Translated title of the contributionAntidepresivos de nueva generación en neuropatía diabética dolorosa
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalRevista Ciencias de la Salud
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


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