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Selecting an appropriate medication for treating neuropathic pain in patients with diabetes: a study using the U.K. and Germany Mediplus databases.

Author(s): Gore M, Sadosky A, Leslie D, Sheehan AH

Affiliation(s): Avalon Health Solutions, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103, USA. mgore@avalonhealthsolutions.com

Publication date & source: 2008-07, Pain Pract., 8(4):253-62. Epub 2008 May 29.

Publication type: Comparative Study

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the appropriateness of prescribing select neuropathic pain medications to diabetes patients based on the potential for drug-drug interactions with medications diabetes patients were prescribed continuously for > or =3 months (chronic use). METHODS: Medical records of patients with a diagnosis of diabetes or use of antidiabetic medications between January 1, 2002 and September 30, 2005 in the U.K. and Germany Mediplus databases were obtained. PATIENTS: Medication use profiles were evaluated between April 2004 and September 2005. The metabolic pathways associated with medications that were prescribed chronically to at least 10% of study patients were compared with the metabolic pathways of neuropathic pain medications to identify potential drug-drug interactions. RESULTS: A total of 40,448 patients in the U.K. (63.6 +/- 16.6 years, 51% male) and 31,930 patients in Germany (68.9 +/- 12.7 years, 46% male) were identified. Frequently prescribed medications in the U.K. included aspirin (33.7%), metformin (32.7%), simvastatin (25.5%), atorvastatin (19.4%), atenolol (18.1%), and in Germany hydrochlorothiazide (35.8%), aspirin (25.2%), metformin (21.6%), metoprolol (20.3%), and simvastatin (18.3%). Several neuropathic pain medications have potential for drug-drug interactions with medications prescribed to diabetes patients. Examples include (neuropathic pain medications vs. diabetes medications): duloxetine, paroxetine, and methadone (CYP2D6 inhibitors) and oxycodone HCL, hydrocodone (CYP2D6 substrates) vs. metoprolol and bisoprolol (CYP2D6 substrates); and carbamazepine (CYP3A4 inducer) vs. simvastatin, and atorvastatin (CYP3A4 substrates). CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Our findings underscore the need for medical vigilance when selecting medications for treating neuropathic pain in diabetes patients.

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