Painful peripheral neuropathy and its nonsurgical treatment

Muscle Nerve. 2004 Jul;30(1):3-19. doi: 10.1002/mus.20057.


Treatment of neuropathic pain is the primary focus of management for many patients with painful peripheral neuropathy. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants are the two pharmacological classes most widely studied and represent first-line agents in the management of neuropathic pain. The number of pharmacological agents that have demonstrated effectiveness for neuropathic pain continues to expand. In the current review, we summarize data from randomized, controlled pharmacological trials in painful peripheral neuropathies. Although neuropathic pain management remains challenging because the response to therapy varies considerably between patients, and pain relief is rarely complete, a majority of patients can benefit from monotherapy using a well-chosen agent or polypharmacy that combines medications with different mechanisms of action.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Analgesics
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressive Agents