Is there a treatment for chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy?
For neuropathy in general, I recommend Benfotiamine, the fat-soluble form of vitamin B1. Benfotiamine is very beneficial for diabetic and other neuropathies in doses from 200-600 mg/day, with greater improvement at the higher doses.1, 2 I would also add a broad-spectrum high-dose B-complex to this regimen.
In addition, a combination of alpha-lipoic acid, in a daily dose of about 1,000 mg,3 and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) (2,400 mg/day), may also help. NAC is a precursor of the body’s “master antioxidant,” glutathione, and has been used to prevent neuropathy from neurotoxic chemotherapy regimens.4
Finally, I suggest the use of pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMF)5 or DiaPulse treatment.6-8 Unfortunately, I no longer have access to a DiaPulse instrument in the clinic, but I have seen it work wonders in many cases of chronic, intractable neuropathies.
Ward Dean, MD
- Haupt E, Ledermann H, Köpcke W. Benfotiamine in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy–a three-week randomized, controlled pilot study (BEDIP study). Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Feb;43(2):71-7.
- Stracke H, Gaus W, Achenbach U, Federlin K, Bretzel RG. Benfotiamine in diabetic polyneuropathy (BENDIP): results of a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2008 Nov;116(10):600-5.
- Papanas N, and Ziegler D. Efficacy of α-lipoic acid in diabetic neuropathy. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 2014 Dec;15(18):2721-31.
- Deepmala D, Slattery J, Kumar N, Delhey L, Berk M, Dean O, Spielholz C, Frye R. Clinical trials of N-acetylcysteine in psychiatry and neurology: A systematic review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 2015 August; Volume 55:294–321.
- Graak V, Chaudhary S, Bal BS, and Sandhu JS. Evaluation of the efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic field in the management of patients with diabetic polyneuropathy. Int J Diabetes Dev Ctries. 2009 Apr-Jun; 29(2): 56–61.
- Wilson DH, Jagadeesh P, Newman PO, Harriman DGF: The effects of pulsed electromagnetic energy on peripheral nerve regeneration. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 238:575-580, Oct 1973. (Presented: Electrically mediated growth mechanisms in living systems. Sept 1973)
- Wilson DH, Jagadeesh P: Experimental regeneration in peripheral nerves and the spinal cord in laboratory animals exposed to a pulsed electromagnetic field. Paraplegia, 14: 12-20 (England), 1976
- 8. Young W: Pulsed electromagnetic fields (Diapulse) alter calcium in spinal cord injury. Abstracts: The First International Symposium on Central Nervous System Trauma: Restoration, Plasticity, Regeneration, 127