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Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(1):109-17. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X14500074.

Clinical efficacy of aconitum-containing traditional Chinese medicine for diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain.

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Guang'anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China.


Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a common chronic complication of diabetes. Routine clinical management uses analgesics to relieve pain in combination with drugs for nerve repair. The drugs are often not effective for the severe pain cases, and these western medications also have side effects. We report a more effective treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain using a high dose of a traditional Chinese medicine, aconitum (including both Radix aconite preparata and Radix aconite kusnezoffii), in combination with Huangqi Guizhi Wuwu Tang (i.e., astragalus, cassia twig, white peony root, and spatholobi). In order to achieve stronger analgesic effects, we increased the clinical dosage of aconitum from 15 to 120 g. The aconitum was boiled for 6-8 hours, and licorice was also used to reduce potential toxicities of aconitum. In the four reported cases, the patients' neuropathic pain was remarkably reduced and the EMG profile was also improved with this treatment regimen. Adverse reactions were not observed during the therapy. Thus, aconitum represents a promising and safe treatment for the well-being of patients and their diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. Future controlled clinical trials using traditional Chinese medicines containing aconitum in treating the neuropathic pain are warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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