Actovegin (Nycomed), a deproteinized derivative of calf blood, may improve neuropathic symptoms, sensory nerve function, and mental health in patients with neuropathy related to type-2 diabetes. According to findings from a randomized, double-blind study of 567 patients, the main difference for the changes on the symptoms scale was 0.86—a clinically meaningful effect, the researchers say.
They assigned 281 patients to receive 20 IV infusions of actovegin, followed by three tablets per day for 140 days; 286 patients received placebo. Improvement in pain, paresthesia, numbness, and sensory deficits was observed.
The mechanism by which actovegin achieves these effects is not clear, but the drug enhances glucose uptake and metabolism and increases oxygen absorption and utilization.
Source: Diabetes Care 2009;32:1479-1484