Capsaicin 8% dermal patch in peripheral neuropathic pain: a profile of its use
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Funding: The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.
Conflict of interest: S. M. Hoy is an employee of Adis International Ltd./Springer Nature, is responsible for the article content and declares no conflicts of interest.
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dermal patch containing a high (8%) capsaicin concentration (hereafter referred
to as the capsaicin 8% dermal patch) [Qutenza®] is a useful option
for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP). It is indicated in the
EU for the treatment
of PNP in adults, either alone or in combination with other medicinal products
for pain. Prolonged
exposure to capsaicin (the main pungent component in hot chilli peppers)
appears to engender analgesia/pain relief by inducing cutaneous nociceptor ‘defunctionalisation’
[i.e. a cascade of events, including a reduction in TRPV1 (transient receptor
potential vanilloid-1) receptor sensitivity to various painful or noxious stimuli, resulting in impaired local nociceptor
function for an extended period]. Across clinical and real-world studies in
patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN) or non-diabetic
PNP, including post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) and HIV-associated neuropathy, single
applications of the capsaicin 8% dermal patch generally relieved pain and
improved health-related quality of life, patient status and/or treatment satisfaction. Pain relief was at least sustained following repeated applications for
≤ 52 weeks. As the
capsaicin 8% dermal patch is associated with minimal systemic absorption, its
use is expected to result in few systemic adverse events or drug–drug interactions.
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