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Acta Neurol Scand. 2002 Nov;106(5):248-52.

Sodium valproate in the management of painful neuropathy in type 2 diabetes - a randomized placebo controlled study.

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Department of Medicine, SP Medical College, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India.



To study the effectiveness and safety aspects of sodium valproate in the management of painful neuropathy in patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus.


A randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial of sodium valproate was done in type 2 diabetic patients to assess its efficacy and safety in the management of painful neuropathy. We screened 60 patients but eight patients could not complete the study; hence, the present study was done on 52 patients. Each patient was assessed by clinical examination, pain score by short form of the McGill pain questionnaire (SF-MPQ) and electrophysiological examination, which included motor and sensory nerve conduction velocity, amplitude and H-reflex initially and at the end of 1 month of treatment.


Significant improvement was noticed in the pain score of patients receiving sodium valproate in comparison to patients receiving placebo at the end of 1 month (P < 0.05). The changes in electrophysiological data were not significant. The drug was well tolerated by all patients except one who developed a raised aspartate transaminase (AST)/alanine transaminase (ALT) level after 15 days of treatment.


Sodium valproate is a well-tolerated drug and provides significant subjective improvement in painful diabetic neuropathy. These data provide a basis for future trials of longer duration in a larger group of patients.

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