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Amitriptyline and Sertraline in Diabetic Neuropathy: A Comparative View

T Jawaid
AK Shakya
M Kamal
S Hussain


Purpose: To investigate the effect of amitriptyline (Ami) and sertraline (Sert) in diabetes neuropathy.
Methods: Diabetes was induced in 3 groups of rats (n=6) with
streptozotocin (STZ, 55mg/kg, i.p.). Two of the groups of diabetic rats received amitriptyline (15 mg/kg, p.o) and sertraline (30 mg/kg, p.o.) while another 2 groups (n=6) received the same drug treatment without prior administration of STZ. A normal group (n=6) of rats and STZ-induced group (n=6) of diabetic rats served as controls. The blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin (GHb), pain sensitivity and neuromuscular strength in all the rats were determined.
Results: Ami (15mg/kg, p.o.) produced severe hyperglycemia (p < 0.01) whereas Sert (30mg/kg, p.o.) produced significant
hypoglycaemia in the diabetic rats. Ami significantly increased the GHb% level while Sert had no significant effect. Both Ami and Sert raised the grip strength that was significantly reduced by STZ. When administered for 3 weeks, Ami and Sert increased the STZ induced reduction of the grip strength in the diabetic rats (p< 0.01). STZ (55mg/kg, i.p) increased the pain sensitivity. Pain sensitivity was significantly reduced by Ami (15 mg/kg, p.o, administered for 3 weeks) in the diabetic rats but marginally reduced in the normal group.
However 3-week administration of Sert (30 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly reduced the pain sensitivity in both the diabetic and normal rats (p < 0.01) when compared with STZ treated group.
Conclusion: Sertraline could offer a good choice in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy particularly in patients with depression being treated with amitriptyline.

Keywords: Amitriptyline; sertraline; diabetic neuropathy; glycosylated haemoglobin (GHb); streptozotocin-induced diabetes.