A three-armed, randomized, multicentre, placebo-controlled double-blind study was used to examine the efficacy of benfotiamine vs a combination containing benfotiamine and vitamins B6 and B12 in out-patients with severe symptoms of alcoholic polyneuropathy (Benfotiamine in treatment of Alcoholic Polyneuropathy, BAP I). The study period was 8 weeks and 84 patients fulfilled all the prerequisite criteria and completed the study as planned. Benfotiamine led to significant improvement of alcoholic polyneuropathy. Vibration perception (measured at the tip of the great toe) significantly improved in the course of the study, as did motor function. and the overall score reflecting the entire range of symptoms of alcoholic polyneuropathy. A tendency toward improvement was evident for pain and co-ordination; no therapy-specific adverse effects were seen.