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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 Jun 2020 - 19 Jun 2020

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 May

Br J Pain



The use of high dose topical capsaicin in the management of peripheral neuropathy: narrative review and local experience.


Capsaicin, derived from the chilli pepper plant, is available in high concentration (8%) patches to provide topical therapy for neuropathic pain. Its analgesic effects relate to defunctionalisation and nerve terminal retraction of predominantly C fibres in the dermis and epidermis. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis support its use for the management of post-herpetic neuralgia and HIV neuropathy with some evidence for use in painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy. The article concludes with advice on the practicalities of running a topical 8% capsaicin clinic for peripheral neuropathic pain.