Podiatrists looking to alleviate the pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy may want to consider adding Metanx to their treatment armamentarium.
Metanx is a medical food supplement designed to manage the metabolic processes that regulate blood and vessel health, explains the manufacturer, Nestle Health Sciences, Pamlab. The supplement provides the patient with active B vitamins, L-methylfolate, pyridoxal 5’-phosphate and methylcobalamin, which work to carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves, thereby targeting the painful symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, notes the manufacturer.
As the company notes, traditional, over-the-counter B vitamins, like folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, are synthetic forms of nutrients and the body must convert these to active forms before use.
Christopher Bromley, DPM, explains that Metanx is his preferred treatment option for patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The reason Metanx works better than other supplements, particularly over-the-counter B vitamins, is that patients can easily absorb the active ingredients in Metanx, notes Dr. Bromley, who is in private practice in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Dr. Bromley explains that he often prescribes Metanx to patients with diabetes who have yet to present with pain, particularly patients who take metformin who do not readily absorb vitamin B.
According to Dr. Bromley, he often uses Metanx in combination with topical treatments for peripheral neuropathy to help regenerate the nerves. In his experience, Dr. Bromley says Metanx typically begins to provide significant results within six to 12 weeks. However, he notes that some patients may require more immediate relief.
“If you have patients that come in with very painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, some cannot wait that long,” says Dr. Bromley, who is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and affiliated with the Center for Wound Healing at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie. “(In these patients), we will use a topical compound.”
Patients who have used Metanx have reported significant improvements in symptoms, such as numbness, tingling, aching pain, burning pain, shooting pain and extreme sensitivity to light touch, notes the company. The average patient will notice improvements in symptoms in three weeks and patients should take Metanx for at least six months for significant improvement, according to the company.
The manufacturer notes that patients tolerate Metanx well during short-term and long-term therapy, and that side effects and/or discontinuation rates are similar to those of placebo.
Editor’s note: For related articles, see “A Closer Look At A More Natural Treatment For Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy” in the May 2013 issue of Podiatry Today or “Can A Medical Food Help Alleviate Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms?” in the April 2013 issue.
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