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Vitamin Reverses Nerve Pain

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Q. I heard a caller on your radio show talk about a vitamin for peripheral neuropathy and restless leg syndrome. What is it? Can you tell me more?

A. The compound is benfotiamine, a synthetic form of thiamine (vitamin B1). It has been used in Germany to treat peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes. Our caller, a physician, says the dose is 300 mg twice daily to start with; maintenance is 150 mg twice a day. Benfotiamine is available without a prescription, but not all pharmacies carry it.

When he called, we had forgotten that we'd heard from other listeners several years ago about the same compound: "I have suffered for about four years from an intermittent, sharp 'electric' pain on the sole of my left foot. Recently it became worse and was interfering with my sleep.

"I heard you speaking about peripheral neuropathy and a diabetic caller said her doctor had recommended 'benfotiamine.' This had returned feeling to the bottom of her feet for the first time in many years.

"After reading all I could find on the subject, I ordered benfotiamine and began taking it. Within 24 hours my pain had almost completely disappeared and the very isolated recurrences are comparatively mild."

A placebo-controlled trial for diabetic neuropathy found a significant benefit for pain (Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes, Nov., 2008). We could find no trials of benfotiamine to treat restless leg syndrome, but it could be worth a try.

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Seriously thinking about checking this supplement out since I am supposed to take 300 mg B1 split into 3 doses each day to aid with treatment of peripheral neuropathy as a side effect of an extremely strong antibiotic.

I do not have diabetes but have had idiopathic peripheral neuropathy for many years. There is no pain associated with my condition, but it has very slowly progressed from the tips of the toes on one foot to most of the toes on both feet. Magnesium was recommended by a veterinarian for a dog of mine with a complex CNS condition including some neuropathy, so I decided to try it too. As of this point, two weeks on the mineral, the neuropathy has receded to just the tips of the toes and only when there is no pressure on them (eg. sitting with my feet up or laying down).

The effect of magnesium on peripheral neuropathy pain could be related to the effect of benfotiamine (fat soluble derivative of thiamine). Both magnesium and thiamine (in the form of thiamine pyrophosphate) are cofactors of a very important enzyme, Transketolase.

The Transketolase enzyme helps to regulate some key functions of small blood vessels. When the small blood vessels are dysfunctional there is less blood flow to nerves and tissues. This can be one basis for pain (decreased perfusion of blood) in peripheral neuropathies. It can also contribute to severe muscle cramps and to restless legs syndrome in my opinion.

What happens in small blood vessels (capillaries and venules) can be literally and figuratively out of sight to most all physicians. Benfotiamine treatment of peripheral neuropathy has been in the medical literature since 1994+. There is very little recognition by the medical community, even in Germany where benfotiamine was synthesized of its efficacy in treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy and other conditions.

It is truely a "drug" of the people and for use by the people with few if any significant side effects. It can also be tried for idiopathic neuropathies, poorly controlled leg cramps, restless legs and other peripheral nerve conditions as yet not well defined. There is a possibility that magnesium + benfotiamine will work better than benfotiamine alone.

I take B-complex 50 once daily. Will there be a problem with taking benfotiamine also? Thank you.

I've tried several places to find benfotiamine. My local pharmacy asked just what the benefits would be taking benfotiamine instead of B-1 (thiamine). Can someone answer that?

I had the exact same experience as Susan B. I am still looking for a local source, and would like to know why not regular Thiamine?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: LOOK FOR THE THOROUGH EXPLANATION IN THE COMMENTS BY DR. CHARLES, WHO INITIALLY TOLD US ABOUT THIS.

CVS has Zycose 150 mg which is benfotiamine/folic acid/PABA/Thioctic Acid/Vit E
Haven't found just benfotiamine yet. Still want to know why not just Vit B-1

My pharmacist said regular Vitamin B1 would be just as effective as the synthetic benfotiamine - is that correct? I'm ready to try B1 for neuropathy. Any advice?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: PLEASE SEE THE COMMENT BY DR. CHARLES.

Unable to find benfotiamine in local health food store or drugstore.
Please help with info.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: PLEASE SEE THE THOROUGH COMMENT BY DR. CHARLES.

My husband has had the same problems when he attempted to get benfotiamine. So, are you going to answer this question - is B-1 the same?

This is a really big issue about vitamins and where they are purchased. Are the vitamins purchased at drug stores, Sams or Costco as good as the ones sold through distributorships such as Nikken, Shackley, etc. The prices for these are tremendously higher than at drug stores, etc. The pharmacist says they are the same but the distributors say theirs are much more pure and are much better. Do you know the truth about vitamins?
LM

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: ALTHOUGH BENFOTIAMINE IS A FORM OF THIAMINE, IT SEEMS TO WORK DIFFERENTLY FOR PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY. PLEASE READ THE COMMENT BY DR. CHARLES, WHO TOLD US ABOUT THIS.

AS FOR THE PURITY OF VITAMINS, IT IS DIFFICULT TO ASCERTAIN SUCH CLAIMS. WE USUALLY RECOMMEND CHECKING WITH CONSUMER REPORTS OR CONSUMERLAB.COM (TWO DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS) BUT DOUBT EITHER ONE HAS TESTED BENFOTIAMINE.

I have neuropathy in my feet, which is very bothersome. I am not Diabetic. My brother has the same problem and also has neuropathy in his legs, he is not Diabetic either. I take a Super B-Complex and 250 mg Magnesium each evening. Would Benfotiamine work better for me? Can I take Benfotiamine along with Wararin which I have to take every night?

Would Vit B-1 be just as effective as benfotiamine?
Can't fine benfotiamine and my pharmacy questioned what
benefits would be over just B-1.

I'm very interested in reading anything further on this subject.

I am very interested in learning more more about benfotiamine. I have a brother with severe neuropathy and suffers on a constant basis with it. I was also just diagnosed with fibromyalgia and would be interested in taking benfotiamine for that as well.

In my experience with hundreds of patients with diabetes and neuropathy, thiamine itself is helpful in a small but significant fraction of patients with leg muscle cramps but not with the pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. B-complex vitamin mixtures are helpful in some pain syndromes but again are not very helpful for the pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy or restless legs.

Thiamine is a water soluble B-vitamin. Benfotiamine is thiamine modified to make it fat soluble. The model for why a fat soluble thiamine is better than a water soluble thiamine is as follows:

Thiamine must cross a lipid (fat) bilayer to go from the extracellular space to the intracellular space. Fat soluble vitamins are more likely to go from the extracelluar (in the circulating blood) to the intracellular space.

Once thiamine (in the form of benfotiamine or otherwise - normal water soluble thiamine) goes into the intracellular space it must be converted into thiamine pyrophosphate to become the active cofactor of the enzyme, Transketolase. This enzyme is very important in minimizing the harmful effects of glucose molecules that otherwise will increase the amount of oxygen free radicals in the cell. Benfotiamine gets converted to thiamine pyrophosphate more readily than does regular thiamine.

When thiamine pyrophosphate is bound by Tranketolase this enzyme minimizes "oxidative stress" caused by glucose. As I tell my patients, we are all rusting, some faster than others. When there is more "oxidative stress" there is more uncontrolled oxidation (or "rust") being produced inside the cell. By being an important cofactor of the enzyme Transketolase, Benfotiamine (converted readily to thiamine pyrophosphate) acts as an antioxidant, not by scavenging free radicals one by one BUT by acting enzymatically to decrease the flux of free radicals in the cell.

When there is an increase in free radicals inside or outside the cell, there is more likely to be "small vessel problems" that leads to a decrease in blood flow to tissue. When tissue gets less blood flow pain can result as occurs in "microvascular angina" and occurs in diabetic peripheral neuropathy. There are a number of articles in medical literature about the anti-oxidative stress actions of Benfotiamine.

So one can, on average, expect better pain control of diabetic peripheral neuropathy from Benfotiamine than from thiamine.

I suggest going online to identify sources of benfotiamine through online purchase. Local pharmacies and a very few but growing number of health food stores will stock it but generally charge about 30 dollars per 120 caps. It can be purchased for about 18 dollars online. Since I hand it out to patients, I purchase it in quantity for about 11 dollars per bottle. When purchased in quantities of 12 it is discounted to about 11 to 12 dollars per bottle. If one knows others with painful peripheral neuropathy, it is worthwhile going together to make a purchase. The source of the "pharmaceutical grade" Benfotiamine from Benfotiamine Inc. is www.benfotiamine.net (NOT .com). I do not get any financial gain myself by citing this source. There are increasingly other sources such as www.iherb.com to which I have referred a lot of patients for the purchase of Benfotiamine (including that from Benfotiamine Inc.) for followup of a successful trial of the Benfotiamine I provide them without charging them. I work with very poor patients and have been impressed by their going ahead and purchasing it on their own upon running out of the supply that I provide them. It is having much more than a placebo effect if very poor people are willing to purchase it. Of course, some people do not have a credit card to make an online purchase and must make other arrangements.

I called the phone no. for benfotiamine.net which was on benfotiamine.org website. The person who answered said "this is Dr. Jack" and asked to help. I asked if he was medical doctor and he said he just took orders. I told him I didn't want to give my credit information unless I had more information about the company. He said he did not know if they were in the BBB Online. He said they were in Florida. I googled them and there are 4 employees and have $400,000 ( and something) in sales a year and have been in business 7 years, I think he said. I would like another source that could be checked out. The reviews were glowing, of course. I am desperate for relief for peripheral neuropathy pain. Please reply !!!

I found benfotiamine 150 mg at vitacost.com for a very good price.

Many thanks, Dr. Charles, for your thorough explanation and info regarding purchase. I'm anxiously awaiting my online order's delivery so that I can try this routine to decrease my neuropathy.

I purchased Benfotiamine at the Vitamin Shoppe today for about $23.
Very interested to trying it for deep nerve pain around my ear, have tried
a lot of different things for a couple of years to no avail (even a neurostimulator) but this sounds promising. I hope the answer is this simple...

Is there any difference between peripheral neuropathy for persons not being a diabetic? The bottom of my feet mostly in the toes and ball area is at times a burning, itching and cramping site. Been told I have peripheral neuropathy, but I don't have diabetes.

I have been prescribed Lyrica for idiopathic nerve pain in my leg and foot, with no improvement. Previously, my physician has tried me on prednisone, and neurontin with no apparent improvement. I would like to try magnesium and/or benfotiamine. Can I take these with the Lyrica, or should I wean off the Lyrica first?

Was that side effect of neuropathy from an antibiotic from a quinolone. . cipro, avelox, levaquin? I have used a different fat soluble B1 to try to treat my adverse effects from cipro . . . hard to say how it's helped but I think it helped with strength.

From everything that I have researched it is because Benfotiamine is absorbed better. There are a few sources at Whole Foods and a nerve support formula through online sources. It is also helpful to take the right B-12 which seems to be methylcobalamin (absorbed better) instead of the normal cyanocobalamin which is put in most B complexes. These 2 have really helped a lot of people with Peripheral Neuropathy.

I just bought it at iHerb on the Internet. Brand Name: Doctor's Best
I think most any health food store could order it for you. Good luck!

I do not have any experience in the rx of antibiotic induced neuropathy with Benfotiamine. But if one is willing to purchase Benfotiamine a trial of 300 mg twice a day is potentially worthwhile.

One caveat about using Benfotiamine that I have not mentioned. I cannot say whether Benfotiamine has any deleterious effects in a person who is pregnant. Let's say one is pregnant and has intractable leg cramps and is seeking a remedy and thinks of trying Benfotiamine. It is probably best to ask your OB doctor whether thiamine at a dose of 100 mg twice a day is ok to try rather than to try Benfotiamine at this point.

One observation I have made in talking to women who have had intractable leg cramps during pregnancy is the APPARENT association of this symptom with premature birth of low birth weight infants. I believe it is worthwhile for the Pregnancy research community to evaluate whether systemic endothelial dysfunction measured by commercially available and completely non-invasive instruments is correlated with premature birth. If there is a correlation then it might be possible to prevent premature birth with thiamine (and possibly Benfotiamine after appropriate toxicity in pregnancy evaluation) thereby saving the health care system a lot of money and enhancing the potential quality of life of those who might otherwise. If one looks at the online version of 5 Minute Clinical Consultant in Medicine one can see a statement that endothelial dysfunction & oxidative stress are correlated with premature birth.

But again, beware taking Benfotiamine when one is pregnant unless your OB physician fully sanctions it OR until there are sufficient data to support the safety of Benfotiamine in pregnancy.

Endothelial Dysfunction = dysfunction of the small blood vessels such that blood flow to tissue is diminished with the real potential of causing "downstream pathology" such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, severe muscle cramps unresponsive to other therapies and restless legs.

Oxidative stress = an increase in the amount of free radicals (such as superoxide and the hydroxyl radical and other free radicals inside and outside the cell such that pathologies such as endothelial dysfunction are potentiated.

If one does a Pubmed search, (oxidative stress OR endothelial dysfunction) AND outcome, one can retrieve ~5400 articles a significant fraction of which could yield clues as to how these entities could be involved in outcomes.

If one does a Pubmed search, (oxidative stress OR endothelial dysfunction) AND , you can potentially retrieve articles which you can read to glean whether your medical condition has a potential relationship to these key originators of pathology. That said do not consider Benfotiamine as a Panacea for these pathologies but consider this information as a potential basis for discussion with your physician. One gotcha there is most all physicians do not conceptual disease processes as involving endothelial dysfunction or oxidative stress. I have "pimped" medical students from Duke and UNC fresh off their basic science courses and rotating on their psychiatry rotations in a state psychiatric hospital with regard to their awareness of "endothelial dysfunction" and its relationship to their current psychiatric rotation AND there were very few medical students who could define "endothelial dysfunction" or "oxidative stress" even though the first real evidence of the enzymatic production of superoxide came from the Biochemistry Department at Duke.

There were no medical students (N = 40) who could conceptualize any relationship between "endothelial dysfunction" and their psychiatric rotation even though there is an excellent Duke study correlating the extent of depression with the extent of endothelial dysfunction.

Ive been taking the Benfo Multi B and G3 caps supplied through Benfotiamine.net for Sciatic nerve pains in my legs and hip for a couple of years. Has greatly reduced the frequency and sharpness of the pains, by taking the Benfo in concentrated capsules... you're getting a much greater effect then just taking thiamine or B complex alone. Always receive great customer service and very cost effective including shipping charges.

I finally found benfotiamine at the local Vitamin Shoppe. I am in Dallas,TX, but I think Vitamin Shoppe is a US company. I have just started it so I don't know how it will work. I do not have diabetes, But do have severe neurological pain caused by a rare condition called erythromelalgia. I am hopeful.

I would like to start Benfotiamine but I currently am taking Gabapentin 300mg/3X for my Diabetes Type II peripheral neuropathy. I believe I need to gradually come off the Gabapentin. Has anyone done this? This Benfotiamine sounds great!

My doc upped Lyrica to 300mg 2/day and benfotiamine 150mg 1/day. The combo seems to be working, and I have little to no sciatic nerve pain for the first time in years.

Dr, Charles,

Per article above: "Our caller, a physician, says the dose is 300 mg twice daily to start with; maintenance is 150 mg twice a day."

How long should a person take the 300mg BID starter schedule before titrating down to 150m mg BID maintenance schedule?

Thank you, Larry! Your testimony about your outcome that it's working for you is what this discussion needs most. My neuropathy is related to chemotherapy 4 years ago--with numbness always and electric shocks at random moments (it wakes me up). I gave up on Gabapentin after 18 months, but B-complex vitamins for a year have helped a little. I just took my first dose of 300 mg. Benfotiamine, (Doctors' Best brand) ordered from Vitamin Shoppe online and I can hardly wait to see how it works. It totaled $27 for 120 capsules of 150 mg., after sales tax and shipping charges via UPS--took 5 days from supplier in New York state to Richmond, VA. I also plan to report when/if the pain improves, or if it does not, so others readers will have more than one person's results. Hope we get an answer on how soon to cut back to 150 mg.

I also have the same question as Manuel C. How long should a person take the 300mg BID starter schedule before titrating down to 150m mg BID maintenance schedule?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: DR. CHARLES HAS GIVEN A THOROUGH ANSWER TO THIS: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/07/18/vitamin-reverses-nerve-pain/

Benfotiamine can work for diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain within 48 hours. I generally inform my patients doing a trial: "Take two caps twice a day for two weeks. If that works you can try to decrease the dose to one twice a day. If that (two twice a day) does not work, keep taking the benfotiamine two twice a day for up to one month. If after one month it does not work, it is unlikely to work at all so do not try to purchase it." One thing that does skew my results with benfotiamine rx in patients is my giving patients one full bottle (120 caps) without charge. I try to remove all barriers to patients trying it out. As a result they might "over report" its successful use to me, for obvious reasons.

I have given patients benfotiamine STAT in an office visit and seen effects very soon after administration. But that is in patients presenting with acutely painful and inflamed hemorrhoids with associated pelvic muscle spasm. It is quite impressive when patients present with agonizing pain, barely able to walk into the office, get partial relief of their pain after nitroglycerin ointment 0.125% to 0.4% is painted directly on their hemorrhoids with partial local relief of pain in five minutes and then they take benfotiamine caps. In about 30 more minutes they get significant additional pain relief such that they are very happy campers going out of their office visit compared to when they presented.

So, in this specific instance, benfotiamine is probably providing relief of pelvic muscle spasm and doing so in a very short time span. This I am very sure is not due to a placebo effect, especially when it occurs in patients who were in ER's and had receive IV morphine without significant relief of their hemorrhoidal pain prior to their office presentation. Just wish I had had the opportunity to give George Brett some topical (and diluted) nitroglycerin ointment PLUS benfotiamine. And, please do not try putting nitroglycerin ointment (diluted or otherwise) on your skin as rx for diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain. And do not put the undiluted nitroglycerin ointment (2%) on your hemorrhoids - you will think that your hemorrhoids are on fire with that strength.

It is hard to come by the nitroglycerin ointment except via a prescription for the diluted form sent to a compounding pharmacy. If you have very painful hemorrhoids, it is worth talking to your physician about the possibility of using the diluted nitroglycerin ointment. There is the possibility also that even the diluted nitroglycerin ointment PLUS large doses of benfotiamine could cause very low blood pressures, but I have not seen that with my patients. I have not had patients try benfotiamine without the diluted topical nitroglycerin ointment for severe hemorrhoidal pain (with associated pelvic muscle spasm).

When patients are taking gabapentin for their diabetic neuropathy pain, I ask them to remain on it, try benfotiamine and then go off the gabapentin (or Lyrica) if benfotiamine gives significant relief.

I started taking 300 mg twice daily of benfotiamine 4 days ago.
I have experienced a significant reduction in energy every day. Has anyone had this same experience?

Reporting back after 2 days taking of Benfotiamine 300mg. IT IS WORKING FOR ME! I can feel temperature and light touch with my toes for the first time in 4 years. Each toe can feel the toe(s) next to it! That's one of those sensations you don't realize is gone until you get it back. I've had no electric shocks waking me up for 2 nights, and no restless feet that have to move around a lot at night. I am amazed and thrilled to have some relief. My oncologist recommended "B vitamins" last year (helped a little), and I'm taking the Benfotiamine bottle to show him when I go next week. I hope it works this well for everyone reading this. Thank you, Dr. Charles and Peoples Pharmacy!

I've discussed benfotiamine with my Dr and he has warned me about fat soluble vitamins being stored in the body, particularly the liver. As I've been diagnosed with a fatty liver I'm concerned about this. Is the 600 mg/day too much? Could this be a concern for someone who has a high LDL? I was left with the feeling that I shouldn't try this without being tested for the specific reasons for the neuropathy. Comments please.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IT WOULD CERTAINLY BE DESIRABLE TO KNOW THE SPECIFIC REASON FOR YOUR NEUROPATHY.

I would like to know if anyone is having difficulties with benfotiamine and their energy levels. I have an extreme amount of pain and a lot of fatigue, so I do not want to take benfotiamine and be even more exhausted. Also is there a better time of day to take it than other times? And if it does cause fatigue, can the full dose be taken once a day, say at night to control the fatigue?

After 6 weeks on Benfotiamine, I don't notice any increase of fatigue. I've been taking it before bedtime, since the neuropathy pain interfered with my sleep. Started with 300 mg. daily for a week & cut back to 150mg daily (1 pill) after that. I'm still very pleased at the amount of relief I'm having. My neuropathy of legs and feet was caused by chemotherapy 4 years ago. I've also noticed increased sensation (instead of numbness) under my arm where lymph nodes were surgically removed and I had very little sensation.

I have been taking Nerve Wellness Formula from Real Food Nutrients for a few weeks and it brought relief of tingling in all extremities. It has the benfotiamine form of B1, the methylcobalamin form of B12, and B2, B6, Folic Acid and D. Doctors have not been able to identify the cause of the neuropathy, but are happy I've found relief. It was a total bonus to also have my energy return!

I had a brain tumor and had nerve pain in my left arm which has now gone. I also had nerve pain in the small of my back which I still have. I found that Benfotiamine took the pain away completely. When on occasion I have run out then the pain in the small of my back returned. I'm totaly sold on this oil soluable B1 (Benfotiamine) coz it works. I use the Solal product.

I was treated for femoral neuropathy last winter. The knee numbness didn't bother me, but the deep hip pain made sleep difficult. Rx for amitriptyline worked great, but I gained 6 pounds that I'm having a hard time losing. The symptoms are recurring, and I don't want to use that drug again, so I tried the benfotiamine.

I've been taking it for a few weeks now, and there is a noticeable improvement. I noticed the improvement within a day or two, but there have been sporadic recurrences. I will keep taking it at the max. dose for another week, then try cutting back to one pill, twice a day. I'm pleased with the result. So far, it's working as quickly as the amitriptyline did. Thank heaven for The People's Pharmacy!

I have been using benfotiamine 300mg every morning and again every evening for muscle cramps because of statins (CK is normal as are LFT's) + alpha lipoic acid 600 mg at bedtime. I have new legs. I just can't believe how wonderful they are. I can now sleep without my heating pad or taking narcotics to stop the cramps. I also take magnesium 500 mg at bedtime & have for years-very little relief there. I just go online & enter benfotiamine & buy from whomever has it cheapest. I do the same with alpha lipoic acid. I just know it works for me. Be sure that you tell your PCP about EVERY med that you are on. Keeping that info from the Dr. can harm you. And if they WON'T listen to you-FIND A NEW DOCTOR ASAP

I asked for help with restless leg syndrome, does benfotiamine help with this problem????

Ron All I know is that I have new legs. My leg cramps also made my legs restless. My thought was all I had to lose was the cost of a bottle of the benfotiamine & alpha lipoic acid. I take benfotiamine 150 mg every AM & then 300mg every bedtime + alpha lipoic acid 600 mg. Please do your research on these meds & then discuss it with your primary care Dr. I have been an RN for 35+ years & mine knows EVERY pill that I take. I order my from Amazon. I just get it from whomever has the best price. Remember we don't have MD behind our names. Discuss all meds with your Dr. It is best practice to do that.

Ron O: If you read the doctor's comments above, you'll see that, in his opinion, it works for restless leg syndrome.

I'm still taking the Benfotiamine for femoral neuropathy, and it's working great. I tried cutting back about a month ago, to 150 mg., twice a day, but the pain was creeping back, so I returned to the full dose. I'll try to cut back, again, and see how it goes. But I am sold on Benfotiamine for my nerve pain.

Has there been any studies on the toxicity levels of b1 and/or b12? I know 600mg per day is the recommendation for a trial of B1, but I have read about recommendations of titrating higher than that. Wondering if there is a generally accepted upper limit for B1 and if so, what is it?

Thanks

I would like to try Benfotiamine for short fiber neuropathy in my feet and restless leg syndrome. I do not have diabetes. I DO have A-Fib...does Benfotiamine affect heart rhythms?

People's Pharmacy response: There are no reports on this in the medical literature, but apparently someone on a diabetes message board has reported having a problem. We really do not know how to evaluate this report.

Talk with you Dr. regarding every med-prescription or over the counter that you take. Even something you take only 1-2x/year. There probably isn't a problem with the AFib since that is an electrical issue but your Dr. needs to be the one to make that decision.

My legs feel better than ever & I have been able to tolerate the increase in my Crestor with out any problems.

I have peripheral neuropathy in arms and hands really bad bilaterally due to trauma of car wreck, repetitive stress, and cervical herniated discs. Dr just put me on neurontin, gaining weight and helping a little. I take a lot of vitamins but have never heard of this, do you think it will help? All I see on this page is legs and feet, thanks.

Based on all the comments and information about benfotiamine, I thought it might prove helpful for my husband. He has endured Parkinson's for over 13 years. About 8 years ago he started experiencing pain in both of his lower legs and feet. The pain is so severe that his toes spasm and he can barely endure the pain episodes, which last about 3 hours at various times of the day. He's had countless tests, taken Neurontin and Lyrica (among others)unsuccessfully, stopped his Zocor (no change occurred), and is very depressed as a result. I gave him the benfotiamine for a month - it did not work.

People's Pharmacy response: Thank you for letting us know. We are sorry it was a disappointment.

Julie, it is SO worth a try. I started on Aug 17th 2011. It worked within 2 hours of first dose & it still works for me, seems to be getting progressively better, but I get pain if I miss it for a couple days so I go right back. In addition to feet and legs, I had neuropathy of my arm where nerves were cut taking out lymph nodes under my arm and this also improved after 6 weeks on benfotiamine (4+ years after the chemo that caused it).

Read the testimonials, they are about arms and back pain as well as feet and legs. Told my oncologist and family doc about it and they both said to go for it. Sorry if this is TMI, but I love to share this with others who might benefit from it. It's a very small investment if it works the same for you. I truly hope it does. I started with 2 caps (total 300 mg) for one week, then cut back to 1 cap (150 mg) since then. Occasionally I take a second one if pain more than usual. Good luck.

Julie, As I have said in all prior comments please discuss this with your prescribing Dr. It is vital that they know EVERY PILL you take. Vitamins are considered to be a medication. My legs still feel wonderful compared to how they felt this time last year. I just know this works for me. Do your research so you can have an informed discussion with your Dr. I suspect most have not heard about this. So print out the info you found to help educate your Dr. and have that all important discussion with your Dr.

Would like to know if benfotiamine interacts with Lyrica and vice versa as I have diabetic neuropathy. I take two 75mg Lyrica daily and was told by the diabetes doctor I could take another if needed.

My peripheral neuropathy is idiopathic. I take B complex as part of my routine. Is it okay to add Benfotiamine, or should I discontinue the B complex? Also, I use Tegretol 1,000 mg. daily in divided doses and I wonder if I could ever consider discontinuing that as well.

Much to my delight Benfotiamine has absolutely STOPPED the sharp electrical pains in my feet which were happening daily. It has also considerably relieved the tenderness and pain on the skin of my feet. Nothing else has helped me. I started with 300 mg. a day-150 mg in the AM and 150 mg in the evening. I have reduced that now to 75 mg in the AM and 150 mg in the evening. I highly recommend it!

In answer to a question below, I take Coumadin and started taking Benfotiamine several months ago with no problems whatsoever. My blood is tested monthly and remains in range.

Benfotiamine got rid of my restless leg syndrome the first day I took it. What a relief! After 5 days of continued restless leg syndrome, I drove in to town to buy a bottle at the local Vitamin Shoppe. I have since found it at a better price on Amazon, but I'm glad to know that I can always get it locally. Of course I told friends about it, and one friend with fibromyalgia tells me that benfotiamine has helped her fibromyalgia pain dramatically, and another friend tells me that it stopped her night leg cramps. Both are sleeping better. The People's Drug, indeed!

Can Benfotiamine help by Chronic Pelvic Pains and Pudental Nerve Entrapment?

I'm taking clonazepam 0.5 twice a day and b12 500mcg for Cipro induced peripheral Neuropathy. Will Benfotiamine interact with any of these? I have been studying Benfotiamine for some time and am wanting to try it out.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We couldn't find an interaction. Good luck!

I have had peripheral neuropathy for years, age soon 76, on Gabapentin and would like to try this. I have fib and other conditions that require medications. I will see what B12 I've been taking and ask the dr. about this other form of B1. Thanks!

Jan S. I'm 73 and my dr. put me on Gabapentin the day after Christmas because of an acute attack of peripheral neuropathy. It worked wonders. However, I'm still sexually active and cannot attain an organism. In checking the "crazy" side effects, this is one of them.

I would recommend it if this is not a problem for you. I'm scheduled for a nerve conduction test next month and will make a decision whether to continue with the Gabapentin or look for another drug.

My dr. advised against the benfotiaomine for me as I have a fatty liver and, as it's a fat soluble vitamin the excess doesn't wash out of the system as a water soluble vitamin will (such as C).

I am 83 yrs old. Suffered a bout of shingles this past October and PHN ever since. Was put on a low dose of gabapentin which did not seem to help much; however when dose was lowered, pain increased and began in places not affected previously. I have only today read about benfotiamine and R-alpha lipoic acid to treat neuropathy pain. I am anxious to try both in the near future.

This may sound insulting...it is not meant as such, but for those asking where they can buy benfotiamine, my goodness, have you ever thought of googling online for sources? It's been available for YEARS on Amazon, just as one example, and can be purchased at many other online supplement sites.

THANK YOU Dr Charles!
I appreciate your explanation in layman's terms...it helps everyone get a little better idea on how nutrients flow in and out of the cells. I knew immediately that the difference was water vs fat soluble, but I did not realize the importance of those differences for treating neuropathy pain until now.


Thanks again!

Erhan, have you had any success? I am also interested in an answer to this question.

I have read with interest the impact on neuropathy pain of benfotiamine. My 20 year old daughter has severe chronic back pain as a consequence of a car accident 2 years ago, just completed a 3 week pain management clinic at leading Australian Hospital. Whilst limited physical issues her brain seems to trigger severe dagger like electric pulses which last for half an hour or so almost on a daily basis, other times a duller sort of pain. Pain Clinic treatment based on desensitisation, NO DRUGS. Just wondering if we should try benfotiamine.

would like to receive future comments. Have neuropathy in feet/lower legs. Any help appreciated. thanks for the lead.

Does anyone know if the benfotiamine works for tarsal tunnel syndrome? I have had this for several years now and nothing seems to help.

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