Treatment for Nerve Damage

Once neuropathy has set in, there is no cure, but there are medications that can relieve the pain, numbness and tingling, though they don't work for everyone and most have side effects that must be carefully weighed against the benefits they offer. Medications commonly used to treat seizure disorders, like gabapentin and pregabalin, are also prescribed for nerve pain. The antidepressant duloxetine also works to relieve pain.

Meanwhile, researchers are working to develop new medicines that work directly to prevent, stop or even reverse nerve damage.

According to Dr. Armstrong, D.P.M., M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, and former chair of the Interest Group on Foot Care of the American Diabetes Association, drugs that treat localized inflammation around the nerve and reduce oxidative stress may prove promising—though these have so far been studied mainly in mice.

Still, there's hope on the horizon that this nervy complication of diabetes will some day be easier to tolerate.

From our sister publication, Diabetes Focus (Summer 2011)

Publication Review By: Written by: David G. Armstrong, D.P.M., M.D., Ph.D.; Thomas Donner, M.D.; Amanda Peltier, M.D., M.S.

Published: 21 Apr 2009

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015