[Shortening diclofenac therapy by B vitamins. Results of a randomized double-blind study, diclofenac 50 mg versus diclofenac 50 mg plus B vitamins, in painful spinal diseases with degenerative changes].Z Rheumatol. 1988 Sep-Oct; 47(5):351-62.ZR
The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as diclofenac for treatment of degenerative rheumatic disorders of the lumbar spine is of great significance in orthopedic practice. Clinical studies have shown that concomitant treatment with vitamins B1, B6, B12 and diclofenac provides more efficient pain relief than treatment using diclofenac alone. This study was undertaken in order to determine whether the duration of treatment with diclofenac for lower back pain can be shortened by adding B-vitamins to the therapeutic regimen. From September through December of 1986, 256 patients participated in a multicenter, controlled, randomized double-blind trial which compared the clinical efficacy of diclofenac (50 mg) with a combined therapy of diclofenac (50 mg) and vitamins B1, B6, and B12 (thiamine nitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, and cyanocobalamine, resp.; in dosages of 50 mg, 50 mg, and 0.25 mg, resp.). Patients were treated with 3 X 1 capsule daily for a maximum of two weeks, having the option to terminate participation in the trial after 1 week in the event of total pain relief. The data of 238 patients were able to be included in the evaluation. 29 patients opted to discontinue therapy due to remission on symptoms. Nineteen (65.6%) of these patients belonged to the combined therapy group, the other 10 (34.4%) having taken diclofenac alone; this difference is statistically significant (p less than 0.05). An important aspect in the evaluation of therapy was the patient response regarding the improvement of painful symptoms which, in addition to their subjective feedback, was reflected in the test results of the "Hoppe Pain Questionnaire (HPQ)." All parameters used as a measure of pain relief indicated superior results with the B-vitamin supplemented therapy when compared with results obtained with diclofenac alone. Moreover, after 3 days of therapy the "sensory" pain factor "sharpness" improved significantly. Undesirable side-effects were documented with 39 patients, 14 of them having discontinued therapy for this reason. No statistically significant difference could be determined within this group with regard to therapy. The study results document the positive influence of B-vitamins on painful symptoms and indicate that less NSAID is needed for pain relief when combined with B-vitamins.