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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2013 Aug;101(2):99-105. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2013.03.033. Epub 2013 May 9.

Meta-analysis of methylcobalamin alone and in combination with lipoic acid in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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Department of Pharmacy, Zhu-Jiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.



To compare the efficacy and safety of daily lipoic acid (300-600 mg i.v.) plus methylcobalamin (500-1000 mg i.v. or im.) (LA-MC) with that of methylcobalamin alone (MC) on diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).


Electronic database were searched for studies published up to November 1, 2012 and study quality was assessed in duplicate. A random or a fixed effect model was used to analyse outcomes which were expressed as risk ratios (RRs) or mean difference (MD). I(2) statistic was used to assess heterogeneity.


Seventeen studies were included. Combined data from all studies showed that the LA-MC combination therapy was significantly superior to MC monotherapy (RR=1.47; 95% CI: 1.37-1.58). Superiority of the LA-MC combination was shown in nerve conduction velocity (NCV) with WMDs of 6.89 (95% CI: 4.24-9.73) for median motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV), 5.24 (4.14-6.34) for median sensory nerve conduction velocity (SNCV), 4.34 (3.03-5.64) for peroneal MNCV, and 4.53 (3.2-5.85) for peroneal SNCV. There were no serious adverse events associated with treatment.


The results of the meta-analysis show that treatment with LA-MC for 2-4 weeks is associated with better outcomes in NCV and neuropathic symptoms relative to MC treatment. However larger well-designed studies are required to confirm this conclusion.


Combination therapy; Diabetic peripheral neuropathy; Lipoic acid; Meta-analysis; Methylcobalamin

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