Amitriptyline 2% cream vs. capsaicin 0.75% cream in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy (Double blind, randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety)

Document Type: Research article

Authors

1 Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran

2 Center for Research and Training in Skin Diseases and Leprosy (CRTSDL), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran

4 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran

Abstract

Because of less systemic side effects of topical medications in pain relief of the painful form of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, this study aimed to compare the effect of amitriptyline and capsaicin cream in relieving pain in this condition.
In this randomized, double-blind and non -inferiority trial, 102 patients received amitriptyline 2% and capsaicin 0.75% creams  3 times a day for 12 weeks on the feet. Pain relief was measured by the visual analog scale (0–10). Treatment responding was considered as cure rate greater than 50% from baseline. Evaluations of the pain severity, compliance and drugs adverse effects were performed at each of the 4-week follow -up visits.
Both drugs significantly relieved pain in 12 weeks compared with baseline values (P < 0.001 for both). Treatment responders were similar in both groups (P = 0.545). Intention-To-Treat analysis showed no significant difference in the efficacy between the two treatments (P = 0.703). Adverse events were more common in capsaicin group (P = 0.001). Dermatologic complications were the most common: itching, blister formation and erythema in the capsaicin group and skin dryness and itching in the amitriptyline group.
This study demonstrates the similar efficacy of amitriptyline cream with capsaicin cream in managing diabetic neuropathic pain with fewer side effects.

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