(HealthDay News) — For patients with neuropathic pain, a high-concentration capsaicin patch (HCCP) is effective for reducing pain intensity, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Pain Practice.

Kai-Uwe Kern, MD, from the Institute of Pain Medicine/Pain Practice in Wiesbaden, Germany, and colleagues collected data from electronic medical records of patients who received at least two HCCP treatments between January 2011 and July 2022 to examine patient characteristics, concomitant analgesic medication and pain intensity. The study included 97 patients, most of whom had diagnoses of neuropathic back pain, postoperative or posttraumatic neuropathic pain, and postherpetic neuralgia. The daily dose of concomitant medications was compared at the start of capsaicin therapy and within two years of capsaicin therapy.

The researchers found that most of the patients received concomitant medications, most often opioids, anticonvulsants and antidepressants. During HCCP treatment, there was a significant decrease observed in the average daily morphine equivalent dose. At baseline, pain intensity was generally high, but patients who received at least three HCCP applications had substantial improvements.

“Our study shows that patients treated with at least two HCCP applications for different pain etiologies, such as neuropathic back pain or postoperative or post-traumatic neuropathic pain, seem to benefit from repeated HCCP applications,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Grünenthal GmbH, which funded the study.

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