Vitamin B is frequently used for treating peripheral neuropathy but its efficacy is not clear.
The objective of this review was to assess the effects of vitamin B for treating generalised peripheral neuropathy.
Search methods
We searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group Trials Register (searched August 2005), MEDLINE (January 1966 to
September 2005), EMBASE (January 1980 to September 2005), Philippine databases (searched September 2005) and reference lists
of articles. We also contacted manufacturers and researchers in the field.
Selection criteria
Randomised and quasi-randomised trials where vitamin B was compared with placebo or another treatment in generalised peripheral
Data collection and analysis
Two authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information.
Vitamin B for treating peripheral neuropathy (Review) 1
Copyright © 2008 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by JohnWiley & Sons, Ltd.
Main results
Thirteen studies involving 741 participants with alcoholic or diabetic neuropathy were included. In the comparison of vitamin B with
placebo, two small trials showed no significant short-term benefit in pain intensity while one of the trials showed a small significant
benefit in vibration detection from oral benfotiamine, a derivative of thiamine. In the larger of two trials comparing different doses of
vitamin B complex, there was some evidence that higher doses resulted in a significant short-term reduction in pain and improvement
in paraesthesiae, in a composite outcome combining pain, temperature and vibration, and in a composite outcome combining pain,
numbness and paraesthesiae. There was some evidence that vitamin B is less efficacious than alpha-lipoic acid, cilostazol or cytidine
triphosphate in the short-term improvement of clinical and nerve conduction study outcomes but the trials were small. There were few
minor adverse effects reported.