CoQ10 added to drug treatment helped improve painful diabetic neuropathy in clinical trial

woman rubbing her foot

Adding coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to pregabalin (Lyrica®), a drug used to treat painful diabetic neuropathy, resulted in better pain relief than pregabalin combined with a placebo in an eight-week clinical trial which included 112 diabetics with this disorder. Painful diabetic neuropathy is a type of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage that occurs in diabetes) characterized by tingling, numbness and burning pain sensations that mainly affect the feet and legs.

“We designed and conducted this study to assess whether the addition of CoQ10 to pregabalin might be helpful in improving symptoms in patients suffering from painful diabetic neuropathy,” Paryan Amini and colleagues wrote in the December 2022 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.1 “Our data supports the idea that diabetic patients suffering from painful diabetic neuropathy may benefit from using antioxidant and anti-inflammatory [nutrients] like CoQ10.”

Compared to a placebo, participants who received CoQ10 reported a significant decline in pain four and eight weeks after the beginning of the trial. At eight weeks, the CoQ10 group also reported significantly less pain-associated sleep interference. The proportion of participants who reported a 50% or greater decrease in pain compared to the beginning of the study was significantly higher among those treated with CoQ10.


Apply What You've Learned: Peripheral Neuropathy

  • Damage or disease that affects one or more peripheral nerves is known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition may result in numbness, pain, weakness, tingling, burning or other abnormal sensations.
  • Diabetic neuropathy occurs when chronically high blood sugar damages the nerves. Severe neuropathy symptoms can interfere with sleep and otherwise negatively affect quality of life. Prevention of neuropathy is one of many reasons that diabetics must avoid poor blood sugar control.
  • While pregabalin (Lyrica®) is helpful for painful diabetic neuropathy, treatment with the drug may not completely resolve symptoms and has potential side effects.2
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiency is a factor in peripheral neuropathy.3 Intake of a fat-soluble derivative of thiamin known as benfotiamine may help.3-5


  1. Amini P et al. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2022 Dec;78(12):1899-1910.
  2. Derry S et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Jan 23;1(1):CD007076.
  3. Head KA et al. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Dec;11(4):294-329.
  4. Winkler G et al. Arzneimittelforschung. 1999 Mar;49(3):220-4.
  5. Haupt E et al. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Feb;43(2):71-7.

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