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J Diabetes Complications. 2010 Sep-Oct;24(5):354-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2009.07.005. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

Aldose reductase inhibitors in the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a review.

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Mercy Medical Center, Dubuque, IA 52001, USA.



The purpose of this article was to examine how aldose reductase (AR) inhibitors are used in the prevention and treatment of peripheral neuropathy in diabetes, specifically focusing on efficacy.


Medline searches were used to identify clinical trials investigating AR inhibitors and their proposed mechanism of action, efficacy, and adverse effects. Additionally, the references of the articles returned by the Medline search were examined for pertinent publications.


Three AR inhibitors were selected for review. Modest improvements in the preservation and restoration of nerve conduction velocities were reported in the studies. Additionally, patients reported improvements in the subjective symptoms associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Adverse effects for the studied agents were minimal or not reported.


Given the mechanism by which diabetic peripheral neuropathy can result, targeting the polyol pathway as a method of treatment appears promising, yet the efficacy of newer AR inhibitors is still to be proven. Currently, these agents are not marketed in the United States. As newer studies emerge, diabetes educators will learn more about their efficacy and safety in preventing and treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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