Use of an α-lipoic acid, Boswellia serrata, methylsulfonylmethane, and bromelain dietary supplement (OPERA®) for polyneuropathic pain management
ABSTRACT: Polyneuropathy is a very incapacitating disease of the peripheral nerves but there are few effective treatments often associated with side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness that can worsen the quality of life of patients. The study aims at demonstrating the benefits, safety, and tolerability of OPERA®, a nutritional supplement, containing α-lipoic, Boswellia serrata, methylsulfonylmethane, and bromelain with anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-edema activity. Between November 2018 and April 2019, thirty consecutive adult patients attending Neurological Institute Casimiro Mondino with longer polyneuropathy were treated with OPERA®, once a day, for 2 months. Patients were evaluated at baseline and after 2 months using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Douleur Neuropathique en 4 Questions (DN4). At the baseline, on the average, the number of pain attacks was 5,2 (range 4-7), medium VAS 6,7(range 5-8), and medium DN4 6,1 (range 4-8) while at the end of treatment all parameters analyzed have significantly improved (p<0.0001): on the average, the number of pain attacks was 1,2 (range 0-2 ), median VAS 1,7 (range 0-4) and median DN4 1,4 (range 0-3). Improvements were observed in all patients regardless of disease. OPERA® has well tolerated: on a numerical scale from 1 to 10 the average score was 8 (range 7-10). The compliance of patients was optimal, no side effects related to the product were reported and no weight gain in patients occurred. This study showed the benefits, safety, and good tolerability of OPERA® in polyneuropathy treatment, and data are encouraged to be confirmed by further investigations.