Foot in a vice, diabetic nerve pain, ease foot pain, help neuropathy, remedies for nerve pain, benfotiamine

Have you ever dropped a heavy can of food on your toe? The nail turns purplish-black and the foot hurts like crazy. After a few days, though, the pain calms down and only hurts when you wiggle or stub the toe. Pain that is caused by nerve misfiring tends to last a lot longer and is difficult to treat. One reader is hoping that an alternative approach, benfotiamine, might help ease terrible neuropathy.

Will Benfotiamine Help Against Nerve Pain?

Q. Would benfotiamine help my neuropathy? I have severe nerve damage from my toes to my knees. My doctor says he can’t prescribe anything for my pain.

What Is Benfotiamine?

A. Benfotiamine is a synthetic variant of the B vitamin thiamine. It has been used in conjunction with alpha-lipoic acid to alleviate diabetic neuropathy (Varkonyi et al, Minerva Medica, Oct. 2017).  This compound can prevent damage to small blood vessels, which helps explain its usefulness in diabetic neuropathy (Javed et al, Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism, Dec. 2015).

As far as we can tell, this compound has been studied primarily for treating diabetic neuropathy. It does appear to reduce inflammation of microglial nerve cells, however (Bozic et al, PLOS One, Feb. 19, 2015).  These cells are active in producing neuropathic pain (Popiolek-Barczyk & Mika, Current Medicinal Chemistry, Aug. 2016).  In addition, one study in rats indicates that benfotiamine can reduce inflammatory pain as well as the pain of diabetic neuropathy (Sanchez-Ramirez et al, European Journal of Pharmacology, Jan. 13, 2006).

Should You Try Benfotiamine?

Benfotiamine is not expensive and it does not have serious side effects. As a result, it might well be worth a try, starting with a dose of 300 mg twice a day. If it proves helpful, you can cut back to a maintenance dose of 150 mg twice daily. Not all studies indicate that it is helpful for neuropathy (Fraser et al, Diabetes Care, May 2012).

We can imagine that nerve pain like yours might make walking or even driving a car more difficult. We hope you can find a way to alleviate your neuropathy.

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  1. Gayla
    Pinehurst, NC

    Has anyone tried the alpha lipoic acid and/or benfotiamine for chemo induced neuropathy?

  2. Linda
    Boulder CO

    Would this help for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN)?

  3. Elaine

    Thiamine lowers blood cholesterol but can be hazardous…like red rice.
    Would biotiamine be beneficial to lower cholesterol and not have the side effects?

  4. wendy wallace

    Benfotiamine is available online for $18.88 for 240 capsules of 180 mg each. It works. I’m using R-Alpha-lipoic acid, DHA, Agmatine sulfate, B-Complex, Methycobalamin and GLA (Borage oil) as well, and my neuropathy has reversed in about 3 months so that some days I can’t even sense it.

  5. Charlene

    I am currently taking 2-200 mg. of gabapentin daily with few results for neuropathy. Can Benfotiamine be taken with the gabapentin?

    • Terry Graedon

      We don’t know. This combination has not ben studied.

  6. Patricia W.
    Rockwall, tx

    I now take gabapentin 4 times a day for numbness & pain in leg & foot following 2 back surgeries. Will try Benfotiamine to see if it’s more beneficial.

    • Patricia
      Rockwall, Tx

      Stopped gabapentin & started Benfotiamine several days ago. After 3 pills I was feeling terrible with double the pain & numbness. Had to go back on gabapentin. Was hoping Benfotiamine would give me same relief others have had.

      • Mike

        Got to give it a chance. 3 pills is not much.

      • Cindy
        New Brunswick CANADA

        Hi, Patricia. If you didn’t taper off Gabapentin slowly you could have been experiencing withdrawals. These types of medications often need to be tapered over a period of months and sometimes longer. Most doctors have not realized yet that coming off these medications in a matter of a week or two can cause these withdrawals. There are groups that can help people get off Gabapentin (Cymbalta and Lyrica too) safely.

  7. Susan R

    If Benfotiamine is a synthetic version of Thiamine, B1. Wouldn’t it make better sense to just take Thiamine and/or eat food high in thiamine instead of the synthetic version?

    • Mike

      Thiamine/b1 is not exactly the same as benfotiamine. Benfotiamine is better. Check into it. Google,etc. easy to find info.

  8. WK
    Cary NC

    It costs $41 at my local compounding pharmacy which is the only place that could locate it

  9. susan d
    Indianapolis in.

    I know that Benfotiamine as well as Alpha-lipoic does eliminate neuropathy.

    I had it so bad in my feet that it felt like I was walking on the sharp part of a huge spike! I have been taking both of these for years now and have not had one pain! I could not walk without them.

  10. Marla

    I began using Benfotamine for a damaged nerve in my arm. I had amazing results with it! I am still using it and have no idea if I need to, but am afraid to stop it! It does provide an interesting smell in urine though, so beware! Worth it for me, for sure!

  11. Virginia

    I tell all my friends & family to keep a tube of Bach’s Rescue Remedy Cream handy for injuries causing bruising and contusion. Apply as quickly as possible- you will be astounded at how well i works.

    It has prevented purple painful nails & makes the pain go away. My husband hit his thumb twice with a hammer and by the next day hardly any sign of injury. Amazing stuff! My Lidoderm cream helps my neuropathy on the soles of my feet, by the way.

  12. Marla
    Dallas, TX

    I have been taking bentotiamine for a few years for mild neuropathy – ordering in from this website ( and have definitely noticed a difference. I recommended it to a friend who has severe neuropathy and he said it worked for him.

  13. Laura

    I experienced moderate to severe intermittent nerve pain following foot surgery some years ago. I read about benfotiamine and gave it a try. Worked like a charm. I took it for about a year, and now I have no nerve pain whatsoever in my foot!

  14. Margaret A R

    My husband & I have been using benfotiamine for nerve pain from sciatica for well over 2 yrs, and it takes care of it 100%.

  15. Marty S
    Charlotte, NC

    I have been taking Mega Benfotiamine (250 mg once a day) for 2 months with great results. The sharp pain in the ball of my feet was crippling after short walks.

    As I do not have diabetes I was at a loss for relief until I read about Benfotiamine. Just returned from a trip which included walking approximately 4 miles per day on cobble stone streets.

    No pain! I also use “yoga toes” a soft gel device that separates the toes gently 3 times a week. 30 minutes per session does it for me.

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