DPN (Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy)
Antidepressants, anticonvulsants do double duty
I've talked about diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) in several articles, but I haven't talked much about the medicine you may be taking for relief.
Before doing so, you need to understand that the best relief for your feet and leg discomfort comes from managing your blood sugars. While you are working to do that, some of you still have pain in your feet and legs, and for that reason, your health care provider (hcp) might have prescribed an antidepressant (a medication that helps relieve depression), or an anticonvulsant (a medication that prevents or decreases seizures). You may wonder why these medications were prescribed for you.
Two medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of painful DPN. One is duloxetine, an antidepressant, which you may know by its brand names, Cymbalta or Yentreve. The other is pregabalin, an anticonvulsant whose brand name is Lyrica. Just because these are the only two approved, does not mean the other medications don't work.
You may not be depressed, or you may be depressed due to your pain. Either way, the reason your medicine was prescribed for you was most likely not because you were depressed, but rather because you were in pain. Antidepressants can help both pain and depression.
The antidepressants often used for DPN (in their generic form) are:
It is not clear as to exactly how antidepressants work to help relieve your pain, but it is thought to be related to their effect on the chemical substances (hormones) that naturally occur in your brain and spinal cord. These represent different types of antidepressants, therefore, each works a bit different.
If you are taking an antidepressant for DPN, understand that it takes a while for the full pain relieving effect to occur. When you start these, you may not notice any changes for up to six weeks. You may find that you're sleepier than normal. For some this is good, because your pain kept you from getting rest or sleep. For others it might be a bit concerning. In time you should have more energy. Don't give up. Don't take more than prescribed without your hcp's okay, knowing that your dose may be increased in time. Give it time.
Sweet & Sour Slaw Broiled Crab Cakes Braised Chicken with Beans and Squash Apple Sauce With Nutmeg Tropical Rum Pineapple Shrimp Fettuccine Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Relish Jeweled Fruit Tart Honeydew Soup Spiced Steak with Pinto Beans
Some people like waking up to a cool mid-summer morning breeze, gently swaying their window curtains and caressing their face. Others like to wake up to fresh ground coffee brewing or the glorious sizzle of bacon. Some others may like to wake to the cold nose of their puppy and a big wet lick across their nose. Me? I like to wake up to a 342 mg/dl staring at me menacingly from the Dexcom monitor on my night table. I like to jump out of bed and say, “CRAP!” or...