Effectiveness of Duloxetine Compared With Pregabalin and Gabapentin in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain: Results from a German Observational Study

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Objectives:This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of duloxetine (DLX) and the anticonvulsants pregabalin (PGB) and gabapentin (GBP) for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP) in routine clinical care.Materials and Methods:Data from a 6-month, noninterventional study involving 2575 patients in whom treatment of DPNP was initiated with or changed to DLX, PGB, or GBP (n=1523) were analyzed post hoc; patients treated with other medications or combinations were excluded from this analysis. Propensity scoring was used to compare patient groups, assessing Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), Clinical and Patient Global Impression (CGI/PGI), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), and the Short Form Health Survey (SF 12).Results:Mean median daily dosage over 6 months was 53.9 mg for DLX (N=931), 173.5 mg for PGB (N=248), and 727.8 mg for GBP (N=351). BPI average pain severity (last observation carried forward, mean [SD]) decreased by 2.3 [2.30] points for DLX patients, and by 1.9 [2.22] in PGB, and 1.1 [2.15] in GBP patients. This difference remained statistically significant (DLX vs. PGB: P=0.029; DLX vs. GBP: P<0.001) after adjustment by propensity scores. Similar findings were also seen for the BPI interference score, CGI and PGI, the HADS anxiety score, the HADS depression score.Discussion:When compared with DLX, the low doses of PGB and GBP used in this noninterventional study might have contributed to the lower effectiveness found for both anticonvulsants in the treatment of patients with DPNP.

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