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The effectiveness and safety of topical capsaicin in postherpetic neuralgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Yong, YL and Tan, LT-H and Ming, LC and Chan, K-G and Lee, L-H and Goh, B-H and Khan, TM, The effectiveness and safety of topical capsaicin in postherpetic neuralgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Frontiers in Pharmacology, 7 Article 538. ISSN 1663-9812 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission.

DOI: doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00538


In particular, neuropathic pain is a major form of chronic pain. This type of pain results from dysfunction or lesions in the central and peripheral nervous system. Capsaicin has been traditionally utilized as a medicine to remedy pain. However, the effectiveness and safety of this practice is still elusive. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to investigate the effect of topical capsaicin as a pain-relieving agent that is frequently used in pain management. In brief, all the double-blinded, randomized placebo- or vehiclecontrolled trials that were published in English addressing postherpetic neuralgia were included. Meta-analysis was performed using Revman R version 5.3. Upon application of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, only six trials fulfilled all the criteria and were included in the review for qualitative analysis. The difference in mean percentage change in numeric pain rating scale score ranges from −31 to −4.3. This demonstrated high efficacy of topical capsaicin application and implies that capsaicin could result in pain reduction. Furthermore, meta-analysis was performed on five of the included studies. All the results of studies are in favor of the treatment using capsaicin. The incidence of side effects from using topical capsaicin is consistently higher in all included studies, but the significance of safety data cannot be quantified due to a lack of p-values in the original studies. Nevertheless, topical capsaicin is a promising treatment option for specific patient groups or certain neuropathic pain conditions such as postherpetic neuralgia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:pain, postherpetic neuralgia, topical agent, capsaicin, Capsicum
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Ming, LC (Dr Long Ming)
ID Code:114077
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2017-02-04
Last Modified:2019-09-26
Downloads:161 View Download Statistics

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