A randomized trial of amitriptyline and mexiletine for painful neuropathy in HIV infection

K. Kieburtz, D. Simpson, C. Yiannoutsos, M. B. Max, C. D. Hall, R. J. Ellis, C. M. Marra, R. McKendall, E. Singer, G. J. Dal Pan, D. B. Clifford, T. Tucker, B. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

205 Scopus citations


Background: Painful sensory neuropathy is a common complication of HIV infection. Based on prior uncontrolled observations, we hypothesized that amitriptyline or mexiletine would improve the pain symptoms. Method: A randomized, double-blind, 10-week trial of 145 patients assigned equally to amitriptyline, mexiletine, or matching placebo. The primary outcome measure was the change in pain intensity between baseline and the final visit. Results: The improvement in amitriptyline group (0.31 ± 0.31 units [mean ± SD]) and mexiletine group (0.23 ± 0.41) was not significantly different from placebo (0.20 ± 0.30). Both interventions were generally well tolerated. Conclusions: Neither amitriptyline nor mexiletine provide significant pain relief in patients with HIV-associated painful sensory neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1682-1688
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Kieburtz, K., Simpson, D., Yiannoutsos, C., Max, M. B., Hall, C. D., Ellis, R. J., Marra, C. M., McKendall, R., Singer, E., Dal Pan, G. J., Clifford, D. B., Tucker, T., & Cohen, B. (1998). A randomized trial of amitriptyline and mexiletine for painful neuropathy in HIV infection. Neurology, 51(6), 1682-1688. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.51.6.1682