After conducting a 12-week trial, Italian researchers have concluded that gabapentin provides greater pain relief for diabetic neuropathy than amitriptyline, without causing as many adverse effects.
The researcher’s observations were published in the October 2000 issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Recent research has demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of gabapentin for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy.
For the 12-week trial, 13 patients were randomized to receive gabapentin and 12 were treated with amitriptyline. The gabapentin dose began at 400 mg per day and was titrated up to 2400 mg per day over four weeks. During the same time frame, amitriptyline began at 10 mg per day and was titrated up to 90 mg per day.
A similar number of patients in each group achieved a pain score of one or less, but in three patients taking gabapentin pain was completely eliminated. Nobody taking amitriptyline achieved this level of pain reduction.
Adverse effects were less common in the gabapentin group than in the amitriptyline group, occurring in four and 11 patients, respectively.