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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Sep 2022 - 16 Sep 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Sep

Biomed Pharmacother


Synergism between metformin and analgesics/vitamin B in a model of painful diabetic neuropathy.


Pecikoza U, Tomić M, Nastić K, Micov A, Stepanović-Petrović R
Biomed Pharmacother. 2022 Sep; 153:113441.
PMID: 36076556.


Metformin (a widely used antidiabetic drug) has demonstrated efficacy in models of painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), as well as certain clinical efficacy in relieving/preventing PDN. This study aimed to determine the type of interaction between metformin and duloxetine/oxycodone/eslicarbazepine acetate [ESL]/vitamin B in relieving diabetic pain hypersensitivity. Antihyperalgesic efficacy was determined using a Von Frey apparatus in mice with streptozotocin-induced PDN. We examined metformin's efficacy following oral (acute and prolonged 7-day treatment) and local (spinal and peripheral) application. The examined analgesics were administered in a single oral dose, whereas vitamin B was intraperitoneally administered for 7 days. In combination experiments, metformin (prolonged treatment) and analgesics/vitamin B were co-administered in fixed-dose fractions of their ED values and the type of interaction was determined using isobolographic analysis. Metformin produced dose-dependent antihyperalgesic effects in diabetic mice after oral (acute and prolonged 7-day treatment) and local spinal/peripheral application. Two-drug metformin combinations with analgesics/vitamin B also dose-dependently reduced mechanical hyperalgesia. The isobolographic analysis revealed that metformin synergises with analgesics/vitamin B, with a 6-7 fold dose reduction of both drugs in the examined combinations. In conclusion, metformin reduces hyperalgesia in diabetic animals, most likely by acting at the spinal and peripheral level. Additionally, it synergizes with duloxetine/oxycodone/ESL/vitamin B in reducing hyperalgesia. Metformin co-treatment may increase analgesic efficacy and enable the use of lower (and potentially safer) analgesic doses for treating PDN. Combined metformin-vitamin B use may provide more effective pain relief and mitigate metformin-induced vitamin B deficiency.