Duloxetine in Painful Diabetic Neuropathy: A Systematic Review

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To systematically review the evidence for duloxetine in the management of painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN).


Electronic searches of Medline and PubMed were performed from 2005 till October 2015 using medical subject headings and free-text words. Two independent reviewers extracted the data and assessed the methodological quality of the selected studies.


Twenty-three studies met our inclusion criteria and 8 were considered of high quality and were included to this review. Because of heterogeneity of the studies included in this review, statistical pooling of the data was not possible. We found good evidence for use of duloxetine in PDN over placebo and pregabalin but there was no benefit of duloxetine over amitriptyline.


Duloxetine has a beneficial effect over placebo. Nevertheless, the evidence of superiority of duloxetine over pregabalin and amitriptyline should be explored further as there was only 1 trial for each category. Provided majority of the PDN patients share cardiovascular complications, use of duloxetine will be a good option for treating pain associated with PDN over amitriptyline. Future randomized controlled trials should be designed keeping this in mind.

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