Dextromethorphan/Quinidine for Treatment of Diabetic Neuropathic Pain
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a common complication of diabetes. The most frequent form, estimated to affect 50% of diabetic patients, is a distal symmetric polyneuropathy. The associated pain, which affects approximately 25% of DPN patients, can be severe and disabling.
In a 13-week, phase 3, randomized double-blind controlled trial, 379 adults with daily symmetric diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) leg pain of 3 months duration received placebo, dextromethorphan/quinidine (DMQ) 45/30 mg, or DMQ 30/30 mg, administered once daily for 7 days and twice daily thereafter. The results of this study demonstrate that DMQ was more effective than placebo in the treatment of DPN pain at both dose levels studied.
Pain Med. 2012 Feb;13(2):243-54.
Neuropathic pain includes a variety of conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, phantom limb pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), and pain caused by blunt trauma or crushing injuries. Symptoms of neuropathic pain may not be evident for weeks to months after the injury. Optimal treatment may involve not only the use of traditional analgesics such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids, but may also include medications that possess pain-relieving properties, including some antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antiarrhythmics, anesthetics, antiviral agents, and NMDA antagonists. "Combination therapy is frequently the only effective approach for managing the complex array of chemical mediators and other contributors to the individual pain experience."
"As topical formulations are developed, they provide hope for more effective drug combinations, with fewer systemic adverse drug effects and drug-drug interactions."1 For example, research has shown that topically applied ketoprofen provides a high local concentration of drug below the site of application but decreases systemic exposure and significantly reduces the risk of gastrointestinal upset or bleeding. When properly compounded into an appropriate base, tissue concentrations of ketoprofen were found to be 100-fold greater below the application site (knee) compared to systemic concentrations. Sever disease is the most common cause of heel pain in pre-pubertal children. A case report described the use of topical ketoprofen 10% gel as an adjunct to physical therapy to relieve pain and inflammation.
Advanced Studies in Medicine 2003 July;3(7A):S639
Neuropathy Foot Cream
The following testimonial appeared in the December 1999 issue of Neuropathy News, a patient newsletter:
"My local [compounding pharmacist] has created a cream to help alleviate the pain of foot neuropathy. It reduces the burning and sharp, needle-like pain. All you need is a very thin coat. The directions call for using it four times a day, but I find it particularly helpful at night. [The formulation contains] 2% amitriptyline and 2% baclofen in a transdermal gel."
In Diabetes Interviews, January 2000, Neil A. Burrell, DPM, CDE, of Beaumont, Texas, writes "We have a very high success rate using amitriptyline and baclofen mixed in a gel component. This compound is applied to the feet three times per day, and offers immediate relief... [For] recalcitrant neuropathic pain, many times we use a combination of tramadol, gabapentin and amitriptyline."
At our compounding pharmacy, we work together with physicians and patients to prepare formulations containing the medications and doses that are most appropriate to meet each patient's specific needs. Let us know how we can be of service.
Diabetes Care, January 2004; 27(1):284-5
Topical doxepin could be an alternative and relatively safe treatment in alleviating neuropathic pain in the diabetic patient, especially when the use of systemic treatment is contraindicated. In the following case study, the soles of the patient's feet were treated with topical doxepin 5% twice daily for four weeks. The patient responded dramatically with loss of the severe burning sensation and no side effects reported.
Wounds 15(8):272-276, 2003. © 2003 Health Management Publications, Inc.
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