The primary aims of our study were to compare pregabalin and duloxetine in a neuromuscular clinic for diabetic neuropathic pain (DPN) and to study the effect of these medications in cryptogenic sensory polyneuropathy. We performed a retrospective chart review of 143 patients who were started on pregabalin or duloxetine during a 10-month period in a tertiary neuromuscular outpatient center for neuropathic pain. Duloxetine and pregabalin were started in 103 and 91 patients, respectively. Ninety-two patients tried only one of the two medications while both medications were used at different time periods in 51 patients. Follow-up was available for 87 patients on pregabalin and 89 patients on duloxetine. More patients with neuropathic pain reported an improvement with pregabalin (33%) than duloxetine (21%). Duloxetine (38%) had a higher frequency of side effects compared to pregabalin (30%). However, these differences between pregabalin and duloxetine were not statistically signif-icant. Despite the study's limitations of retrospective design, these findings suggest that both pregabalin and duloxetine are probably effective for neuropathic pain, secondary to diabetes or cryptogenic sensory peripheral neuropathy in a tertiary care academic neuromuscular center. Prospective randomized controlled comparative effectiveness studies are required for both drugs in the treatment of neuropathic pain.
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