Available by prescription only, Metanx is a type of dietary supplement used to improve the function of damaged nerves in people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This vitamin is considered a medical food and is meant for use with your healthcare provider's supervision. It comes in tablet form and is taken once or twice a day. Potential side effects include drowsiness, nausea, and headaches.
What Is Metanx?Metanx® is a prescription vitamin used as a dietary supplement in people who have certain blood vessel problems associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It may also be used in people who have hyperhomocysteinemia (high blood levels of homocysteine), especially for people with leg or foot ulcers (open sores or wounds).
Metanx is considered a "medical food." Medical foods are products that are specifically made to help manage certain medical conditions with unique dietary needs. They are meant to be used under medical supervision. Like all medical foods, Metanx is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How Does Metanx Work?Metanx contains the active forms of folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. These vitamins may help improve blood flow in damaged blood vessels, which can help damaged nerves to function properly.
Although the exact way it works is unknown, one of the ways Metanx is thought to work is by increasing nitric oxide, a natural body substance that dilates, or widens, blood vessels. When blood vessels are dilated, nutrients and oxygen, which are needed for nerve function, can flow more freely to the nerves.
Metanx also works by decreasing levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid produced by the body. High homocysteine levels (or hyperhomocysteinemia) may reduce blood flow to nerves and outer blood vessels, further increasing the risk for peripheral neuropathy, foot ulcers, and other complications of diabetes. The vitamins in Metanx help the body break down homocysteine, which can help lower homocysteine levels.