Short-term efficacy of ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide in peripheral neuropathic pain.
Introduction. This study evaluates the efficacy of palmitoylethanolamide ultramicronized (PEA-um) as an add-on treatment in patients with diabetic or traumatic neuropathic pain (NP). Methods. 30 patients with chronic NP were assessed with Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), NP Symptom Inventory (NPSI), and Health Questionnaire Five Dimensions (EQ-5D), both at baseline and after 10 and 40 days of treatment with 1200 mg/die of PEA-um. All other therapies were maintained stable during the follow-up period. Results. VAS mean score significantly improved within the first 10 days, ranging from 8.20 ± 1.53 to 6.40 ± 1.83 (P < 0.002), with a further decrease to 5.80 ± 2.04 (P < 0.001) after 40 days of PEA-um administration. Moreover, NPSI total score improved from 5.2 ± 1.5 to 3.8 ± 2.1 (P: 0.025) and EQ-5D ranged from -0.30 ± 0.65 to 0.5 ± 0.34 (P < 0.001) between T0 and T2. Conclusions. This study reports the prospective short-term efficacy data of oral PEA-um in patients with diabetic or traumatic NP. A significant improvement was observed both in VAS and NPSI scores and in quality of life scales after 40 days of treatment, although some limitations should be considered, including the short followup and the open-label study design.