Benfothiamine, Benfotiamin, S-benzoylthiamine O-monophosphate


Overview Information

Benfotiamine is a chemical similar to thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. When taken by mouth, the body changes benfotiamine to thiamine. The body can absorb benfotiamine better than thiamine. Benfotiamine can be made by certain plants, such as garlic and onion. It can also be made in a lab.

People most commonly take benfotiamine by mouth for nerve damage caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) and alcoholism. It is also used for Alzheimer disease, arthritis, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.

How does it work?

The body turns benfotiamine into thiamine. Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1. Some people don't have enough thiamine in the body. Since the body absorbs benfotiamine better than thiamine, benfotiamine can increase how much thiamine is in the body. This may help prevent or treat certain symptoms or diseases caused by low thiamine levels.

Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Alcohol use disorder. Taking benfotiamine by mouth seems to decrease alcohol use and improve symptoms of mental health in some people with alcoholism. But it doesn't seem to work as well as the drug baclofen for preventing relapse in alcoholics.
  • Nerve pain in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy). Taking benfotiamine by mouth, with or without vitamin B6 and B12, can improve pain and other symptoms of nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Possibly Ineffective for

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Benfotiamine for these uses.
Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Benfotiamine is LIKELY SAFE at doses of up to 600 mg daily for up to 24 weeks. Side effects are rare. Some people have experienced stomach problems and skin rashes.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if benfotiamine is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



We currently have no information for BENFOTIAMINE Interactions.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For alcoholism: 600 mg of benfotiamine has been taken daily for up to 6 months.
  • For nerve pain in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy): 150-600 mg of benfotiamine has been taken in 3-4 divided doses daily for 3-6 weeks. A specific combination product providing 50 mg of benfotiamine and 250 mcg of vitamin B12 has been taken 3 times daily for 3 weeks. A similar combination product providing 40 mg of benfotiamine, 90 mg of vitamin B6, and 250 mcg of vitamin B12 has been taken as one capsule three times daily or two capsules four times daily for 6 weeks.

View References


  • Stracke, H., Lindemann, A., and Federlin, K. A benfotiamine-vitamin B combination in treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy. Exp Clin Endocrinol.Diabetes 1996;104(4):311-316. View abstract.
  • Winkler, G., Pal, B., Nagybeganyi, E., Ory, I., Porochnavec, M., and Kempler, P. Effectiveness of different benfotiamine dosage regimens in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. Arzneimittelforschung. 1999;49(3):220-224. View abstract.
  • Alkhalaf A, Kleefstra N, Groenier KH, et al. Effect of benfotiamine on advanced glycation endproducts and markers of endothelial dysfunction and inflammation in diabetic nephropathy. PLoS One 2012;7(7):e40427. View abstract.
  • Alkhalaf A, Klooster A, van Oeveren W, et al. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial on benfotiamine treatment in patients with diabetic nephropathy. Diabetes Care 2010;33(7):1598-601. View abstract.
  • Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, et al. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes. 2003;52:2110-20. View abstract.
  • Beltramo E, Berrone E, Buttiglieri S, Porta M. Thiamine and benfotiamine prevent increased apoptosis in endothelial cells and pericytes cultured in high glucose. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2004;20(4):330-6. View abstract.
  • Berrone E, Beltramo E, Solimine C, Ape AU, Porta M. Regulation of intracellular glucose and polyol pathway by thiamine and benfotiamine in vascular cells cultured in high glucose. J Biol Chem 2006;281(14):9307-13. View abstract.
  • Bitsch R, Wolf M, Möller J, Heuzeroth L, Grüneklee D. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(5):292-6. View abstract.
  • Du X, Edelstein D, Brownlee M. Oral benfotiamine plus alpha-lipoic acid normalises complication-causing pathways in type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia 2008;51(10):1930-2. View abstract.
  • Frank T, Bitsch R, Maiwald J, Stein G. High thiamine diphosphate concentrations in erythrocytes can be achieved in dialysis patients by oral administration of benfotiamine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2000;56(3):251-7. View abstract.
  • Fraser DA, Diep LM, Hovden IA, et al. The effects of long-term oral benfotiamine supplementation on peripheral nerve function and inflammatory markers in patients with type 1 diabetes: a 24-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes Care 2012;35(5):1095-7. View abstract.
  • Garg S, Syngle A, Vohra K. Efficacy and tolerability of advanced glycation end-products inhibitor in osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Clin J Pain 2013;29(8):717-24. View abstract.
  • Greb A, Bitsch R. Comparative bioavailability of various thiamine derivatives after oral administration. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1998 Apr;36(4):216-21. View abstract.
  • Gupta M, Verma P, Rastogi R, Arora S, Elwadhi D. Randomized open-label trial of baclofen for relapse prevention in alcohol dependence. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 2017;43(3):324-31. View abstract.
  • Hammes HP, Du X, Edelstein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic retinopathy. Nat Med 2003;9(3):294-9. View abstract.
  • Harisa GI. Benfotiamine enhances antioxidant defenses and protects against cisplatin-induced DNA damage in nephrotoxic rats. J Biochem Mol Toxicol 2013;27(8):398-405. View abstract.
  • Haupt E, Ledermann H, Köpcke W. Benfotiamine in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy--a three-week randomized, controlled pilot study (BEDIP study). Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 2005;43(2):71-7. Erratum in: Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 2005;43(6):304. View abstract.
  • Loew D. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34(2):47-50. View abstract.
  • Manzardo AM, He J, Poje A, Penick EC, Campbell J, Butler MG. Double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial of benfotiamine for severe alcohol dependence. Drug Alcohol Depend 2013;133(2):562-70. View abstract.
  • Manzardo AM, Pendleton T, Poje A, Penick EC, Butler MG. Change in psychiatric symptomatology after benfotiamine treatment in males is related to lifetime alcoholism severity. Drug Alcohol Depend 2015;152:257-63. View abstract.
  • Pan X, Chen Z, Fei G, et al. Long-term cognitive improvement after benfotiamine administration in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neurosci Bull 2016;32(6):591-6. View abstract.
  • Pan X, Gong N, Zhao J, et al. Powerful beneficial effects of benfotiamine on cognitive impairment and beta-amyloid deposition in amyloid precursor protein/presenilin-1 transgenic mice. Brain 2010;133(Pt 5):1342-51. View abstract.
  • Pomero F, Molinar Min A, La Selva M, Allione A, Molinatti GM, Porta M. Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine in correcting endothelial cell defects induced by high glucose. Acta Diabetol 2001;38(3):135-8. View abstract.
  • Schmid U, Stopper H, Heidland A, Schupp N. Benfotiamine exhibits direct antioxidative capacity and prevents induction of DNA damage in vitro. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2008;24(5):371-7. View abstract.
  • Shoeb M, Ramana KV. Anti-inflammatory effects of benfotiamine are mediated through the regulation of the arachidonic acid pathway in macrophages. Free Radic Biol Med 2012;52(1):182-90. View abstract.
  • Simeonov S, Pavlova M, Mitkov M, Mincheva L, Troev D. Therapeutic efficacy of "Milgamma" in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. Folia Med (Plovdiv) 1997;39(4):5-10. View abstract.
  • Stirban A, Pop A, Tschoepe D. A randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial of 6 weeks benfotiamine treatment on postprandial vascular function and variables of autonomic nerve function in type 2 diabetes. Diabet Med 2013;30(10):1204-8. View abstract.
  • Stracke H, Gaus W, Achenbach U, Federlin K, Bretzel RG. Benfotiamine in diabetic polyneuropathy (BENDIP): results of a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2008;116(10):600-5. View abstract.
  • Sugimori N, Espinoza JL, Trung LQ, et al. Paraptosis cell death induction by the thiamine analog benfotiamine in leukemia cells. PLoS One 2015;10(4):e0120709. View abstract.
  • Sun XJ, Zhao L, Zhao N, et al. Benfotiamine prevents increased ß-amyloid production in HEK cells induced by high glucose. Neurosci Bull 2012;28(5):561-6. View abstract.
  • Syngle A, Vohra K, Garg N, Kaur L, Chand P. Advanced glycation end-products inhibition improves endothelial dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis. Int J Rheum Dis 2012;15(1):45-55. View abstract.
  • Woelk H, Lehrl S, Bitsch R, Köpcke W. Benfotiamine in treatment of alcoholic polyneuropathy: an 8-week randomized controlled study (BAP I Study). Alcohol Alcohol 1998;33(6):631-8. View abstract.
  • Xie F, Cheng Z, Li S, et al. Pharmacokinetic study of benfotiamine and the bioavailability assessment compared to thiamine hydrochloride. J Clin Pharmacol 2014;54(6):688-95. View abstract.
  • Ziegler D, Tesfaye S, Kempler P. Comment on: Fraser et al. The effects of long-term oral benfotiamine supplementation on peripheral nerve function and inflammatory markers in patients with type 1 diabetes: a 24-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes Care 2012;35:1095-1097. Diabetes Care 2012;35(11):e79; author reply e80. View abstract.
  • Ziems M, Netzel M, Bitsch I. Biokinetic parameters and metabolism of S-benzoylthiamine-O-monophosphate. Biofactors. 2000;11(1-2):109-10. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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