Which medications in the drug class Analgesics, Topical are used in the treatment of Postherpetic Neuralgia?

Updated: Mar 06, 2018
  • Author: W Alvin McElveen, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Analgesics, Topical

Pain control is essential to quality patient care; it ensures patient comfort and promotes pulmonary toilet. Most analgesics have sedating properties, which are beneficial for patients who experience pain.

Capsaicin topical

Natural chemical derived from plants of Solanaceae family. By depleting and preventing reaccumulation of substance P in peripheral sensory neurons, may render skin and joints insensitive to pain. Substance P thought to be chemomediator of pain transmission from periphery to CNS.

Capsaicin 8% transdermal patch (Qutenza)

Transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) agonist indicated for neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia. TRPV1 is an ion channel–receptor complex expressed on nociceptive skin nerve fibers. Topical capsaicin causes initial TRPV1 stimulation that may cause pain, followed by pain relief by reduction in TRPV1-expressing nociceptive nerve endings. Neuropathic pain may gradually recur over several months (thought to be caused by TRPV1 nerve fiber reinnervation of treated area).

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