We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of the effectiveness of amitriptyline and fluphenazine in alleviating the pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in six diabetic patients. Pain was evaluated by the patients with a graphic rating scale. A placebo response was found, but no additional effect of amitriptyline and fluphenazine was seen. Although the statistical power of this study was low, these data, when combined with a reevaluation of previous trials of amitriptyline and fluphenazine in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy, indicate that there is no justification for the use of these agents in the treatment of painful neuropathy outside of large, controlled clinical trials. Depression as a possible cause of this condition should not go unnoted or untreated.
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