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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Aug 2023 - 1 Sep 2023


Pharmacology/Drug Development

Neuropathic Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Aug 20

Int J Mol Sci




Investigational Drugs for the Treatment of Postherpetic Neuralgia: Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.


Huerta MÁ, Garcia MM, García-Parra B, Serrano-Afonso A, Paniagua N


The pharmacological treatment of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is unsatisfactory, and there is a clinical need for new approaches. Several drugs under advanced clinical development are addressed in this review. A systematic literature search was conducted in three electronic databases (Medline, Web of Science, Scopus) and in the ClinicalTrials.gov register from 1 January 2016 to 1 June 2023 to identify Phase II, III and IV clinical trials evaluating drugs for the treatment of PHN. A total of 18 clinical trials were selected evaluating 15 molecules with pharmacological actions on nine different molecular targets: Angiotensin Type 2 Receptor (AT2R) antagonism (olodanrigan), Voltage-Gated Calcium Channel (VGCC) α2δ subunit inhibition (crisugabalin, mirogabalin and pregabalin), Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel (VGSC) blockade (funapide and lidocaine), Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) inhibition (TRK-700), Adaptor-Associated Kinase 1 (AAK1) inhibition (LX9211), Lanthionine Synthetase C-Like Protein (LANCL) activation (LAT8881), N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonism (esketamine), mu opioid receptor agonism (tramadol, oxycodone and hydromorphone) and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) inhibition (fulranumab). In brief, there are several drugs in advanced clinical development for treating PHN with some of them reporting promising results. AT2R antagonism, AAK1 inhibition, LANCL activation and NGF inhibition are considered first-in-class analgesics. Hopefully, these trials will result in a better clinical management of PHN.