More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Bupropion SR Treats Neuropathic Pain

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Nov 12 - Sustained-release bupropion is an effective, well-tolerated treatment for neuropathic pain, according to the results of a randomized double-blind trial. The findings confirm data from case reports and an open-label trial.

Dr. Marilyn R. Semenchuk and colleagues, from the University of Arizona at Tucson, randomized 41 nondepressed patients with neuropathic pain to receive placebo or bupropion SR for 6 weeks and then use the opposite therapy for 6 weeks. During each 6-week period, patients took bupropion SR 150 mg once daily for the first week and then twice daily for the remaining 5 weeks.

Seventy-three percent of patients noted an improvement in neuropathic pain with bupropion therapy, the authors note in the November issue of Neurology. In fact, one patient actually became pain-free with treatment. In contrast, pain scores remained unchanged with placebo use (p < 0.001).

Patients also reported that pain affected their quality of life significantly less when they were taking bupropion rather than placebo, the researchers state. The most common side effects of bupropion were dry mouth, insomnia, and headache, but none of these effects were dose limiting.

Large, multicenter comparative studies are needed to confirm the current findings, the investigators point out. Furthermore, "it could be essential to include objective measures, such as the Neuropathic Pain Scale, to determine whether specific aspects of neuropathic pain are responsive to bupropion SR," they add.

Neurology 2001;57:1583-1588.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd