Medicine by the Numbers

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Topical Capsaicin for Treatment of Chronic Neuropathic Pain in Adults

 

Am Fam Physician. 2017 Dec 1;96(11):online.

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TOPICAL CAPSAICIN FOR CHRONIC NEUROPATHIC PAIN IN ADULTS

BenefitsHarms

1 in 12 patients reported postherpetic pain reduction of at least 50% more than the control group by follow-up within eight weeks

None of the participants withdrew from care because of adverse reactions

1 in 10 patients reported postherpetic pain reduction of at least 30% more than the control group by follow-up within eight and 12 weeks

1 in 3 patients in the active treatment group experienced transitory pain at the application site

1 in 11 patients reported human immuno-deficiency virus neuropathy pain reduction of at least 30% more than the control group at follow-up within 12 weeks

TOPICAL CAPSAICIN FOR CHRONIC NEUROPATHIC PAIN IN ADULTS

BenefitsHarms

1 in 12 patients reported postherpetic pain reduction of at least 50% more than the control group by follow-up within eight weeks

None of the participants withdrew from care because of adverse reactions

1 in 10 patients reported postherpetic pain reduction of at least 30% more than the control group by follow-up within eight and 12 weeks

1 in 3 patients in the active treatment group experienced transitory pain at the application site

1 in 11 patients reported human immuno-deficiency virus neuropathy pain reduction of at least 30% more than the control group at follow-up within 12 weeks

Details for This Review

Study Population: Patients 16 years or older with neuropathic pain of any origin for more than 12 weeks

Efficacy End Points: Patients reported postherpetic pain reduction of at least 50% more than the control group by follow-up within eight weeks; patients reported postherpetic pain reduction of at least 30% more than the control group by follow-up within eight and 12 weeks; and patients reported human immunodeficiency virus neuropathy pain reduction of at least 30% more than the control group at follow-up within 12 weeks.

Harm End Points: No additional patients withdrew from care because of adverse reactions. One in three patients in the active treatment group experienced transitory pain at the application site.

Narrative: Chronic neuropathic pain is a common, sometimes debilitating, condition that can result from a multitude of origins. Currently, pregabalin (Lyrica) is the only approved medication option. Physicians commonly prescribe off-label use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, gabapentin (Neurontin), tricyclic a

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.


The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense.

Copyright 2017 The NNT Group. Used with permission.

This series is coordinated by Dean A. Seehusen, MD, MPH, AFP Contributing Editor, and Daniel Runde, MD, from the NNT Group.

A collection of Medicine by the Numbers published in AFP is available at https://www.aafp.org/afp/mbtn.

REFERENCES

1. Derry S, Rice AS, Cole P, Tan T, Moore RA. Topical capsaicin (high concentration) for chronic neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;(1):CD007393.

 

 

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