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The Effectiveness and Safety of Topical Capsaicin in Postherpetic Neuralgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Yong, YL, Tan, LT-H, Ming, LC ORCID: 0000-0002-6971-1383, Chan, K-G, Lee, L-H, Goh, B-H and Khan, TM 2017 , 'The Effectiveness and Safety of Topical Capsaicin in Postherpetic Neuralgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis' , Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 7 , pp. 1-12 , doi:

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In particular, neuropathic pain is a major form of chronic pain. This type of pain resultsfrom dysfunction or lesions in the central and peripheral nervous system. Capsaicinhas been traditionally utilized as a medicine to remedy pain. However, the effectivenessand safety of this practice is still elusive. Therefore, this systematic review aimed toinvestigate the effect of topical capsaicin as a pain-relieving agent that is frequently usedin pain management. In brief, all the double-blinded, randomized placebo- or vehiclecontrolledtrials that were published in English addressing postherpetic neuralgia wereincluded. Meta-analysis was performed using RevmanRversion 5.3. Upon applicationof the inclusion and exclusion criteria, only six trials fulfilled all the criteria and wereincluded in the review for qualitative analysis. The difference in mean percentage changein numeric pain rating scale score ranges from −31 to −4.3. This demonstrated highefficacy of topical capsaicin application and implies that capsaicin could result in painreduction. 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 ofside 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 inthe original studies. Nevertheless, topical capsaicin is a promising treatment optionfor specific patient groups or certain neuropathic pain conditions such as postherpeticneuralgia.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Yong, YL and Tan, LT-H and Ming, LC and Chan, K-G and Lee, L-H and Goh, B-H and Khan, TM
Keywords: pain, postherpetic neuralgia, topical agent, capsaicin, Capsicum
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN: 1663-9812
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

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

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