The reactive metabolite methylglyoxal (MG) has been identified as mediator of pain. Scavenging of free MG and the prevention of MG-derived post-translational modifications may provide a useful therapeutic treatment. An arginine-rich, fatty acid coupled, cyclic peptide (CycK(Myr)R4E) with high proteolytic stability and prolonged circulation was developed for the scavenging of MG. It was shown to reduce the formation of albumin-MG adducts in vitro and prevented MG-induced pain by reducing plasma MG levels through the formation of peptide-MG adducts in vivo. CycK(Myr)R4E therefore presents a promising option for the treatment of pain and other diabetic complications associated with high MG levels.