Choosing Medication for Diabetic Nerve Pain

If you have diabetic nerve pain, you might think you just have to live with it. Actually, there are medications that may be able to help you. While you should talk to your doctor about whether diabetic nerve pain medications are right for you, there's one thing you should know: studies show they all work about the same, despite advertising and hype.

The Study

Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School found that newer medications are not superior to older medications in treating diabetic nerve pain.

"These treatments all work about the same, but what's different is their side effects and cost," said study author Dr. Brian Callaghan. "The older medications are an order of magnitude cheaper, about $15 to $20 a month, compared with the newer ones at nearly $200 per month."

Deciding What's Right for You

If cost is a concern, you might discuss using some older or cheaper medications on the market, rather than grabbing the new designer 'drug du jour.' Generic drugs might work just fine.

Also consider how your body responds to the drugs. If you are dealing with side effects, you should know there are many other options to help you manage your pain.

"We hope that adding in the cost consideration will be useful to neurologists and primary care physicians alike, since we all treat patients with painful diabetic neuropathy," concludes Callaghan.

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