13 September 2018
Duloxetine and pregabalin are recommended as first-line treatments for diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP). However, studies have not reported a direct comparison between duloxetine and pregabalin. We conducted a postmarketing, randomized, double-blind study to assess the noninferiority of duloxetine compared with pregabalin after 12 weeks of treatment in adult patients with DPNP in Japan (NCT02417935).
Patients (N = 303) with distal symmetrical DPNP were randomized to and were administered duloxetine (40–60 mg/day) or pregabalin (300–600 mg/day). The primary endpoint was the change from baseline in weekly mean of the 24-hour average pain score (numeric rating scale [NRS]). Noninferiority of duloxetine compared with pregabalin was assessed with the primary endpoint at week 12. Secondary measures, including night pain and worst pain, Brief Pain Inventory-Severity and Interference rating short form (BPI-SF), Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I), Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I), and Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory (NPSI), health outcome measures (EuroQol 5-Dimension index and VAS), and safety were also assessed.
For the 24-hour NRS average pain score, the difference between the duloxetine and pregabalin groups was 0.072 (95% CI: – 0.295, 0.439), and the upper bound of the 95% CI (0.439) did not exceed the predefined noninferiority margin (0.51), at the end of the study period. For secondary outcome measures (night pain, worst pain, BPI-SF, CGI-I, PGI-I, NPSI) and health outcome measures, both the duloxetine and pregabalin treatment groups showed an improvement from baseline with no significant between-group difference. Duloxetine and pregabalin were well tolerated and the safety profiles were consistent with previously reported results.