By: Jan Chait
A spray commonly used to alleviate angina pain might be able to help relieve the pain and burning of diabetic neuropathy when sprayed on the feet.
In a small study involving 22 people with diabetes (20 with type 2, all with painful neuropathy), researchers in the United Kingdom compared the effects of isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN) spray—sold in the United States under the brand names Isordil and Sorbitrate—to a spray that contained no active ingredients. Half the subjects used the ISDN spray for four weeks, while the other half used the placebo.
After a two-week period during which no sprays were used, the groups exchanged treatments.
Following the study, half of the subjects reported that their neuropathy pain was lessened and opted to continue using the spray on their feet. Of the remaining 11 people, four preferred the placebo spray and seven were undecided.
The researchers note that they chose ISDN for this pilot study based on considerable evidence that impaired nitic oxide generation is involved in diabetes-related neuropathy pain. ISDN is a drug that donates nitric oxide and helps to improve circulation.
—Diabetes Care, October 2002