Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Side effects of antidepressants that seem to help diabetics :

Research from Eli Lilly suggests that Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs), a medication which selectively inhibits the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine and used mainly as an antidepressant has very significant advantages in alleviating diabetic peripheral neuropathy . High levels of sugar in patient's blood over long periods of time could lead to complications involving multiple parts of the body. One additional complication that diabetic patients deal with, is pain in the peripheries (the hands and legs). This happens because of damage to nerves resulting in a)loss of sensation b)tingling pain or sharp pain (depending upon the type/extent/morphology of nerve damage) - more commonly referred to in medical fields as neuropathy. In their paper ( Duloxetine vs. placebo in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy), authors Goldstein et. al. demonstrate that Cymbalta® (duloxetine) at the rate of 60 or 120 mg/day showed a 50% reduction in pain for peripheral neuropathies in diabetic patients. They also show that this medication does not work against numbness or tingling pain or work towards any meaningful regeneration of nerves, rather it just reduces the pain in peripheral organs and extremities. The authors do not do a great job in explaining hoiw it does this though… (or maybe I have not done a great job of understanding it...) As a side note, Cymbalta® (duloxetine) is also approved for major depressive disorder and is believed to work by enhancing the effectiveness of two chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, which are involved in regulation of emotion and pain in the brain.

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