Increasing interest in topical treatment of chronic pain

Topical treatments in pain are increasingly mentioned as important for the treatment of localized neuropathic pain. In the graph below we see a steady increase of papers related to the item ‘topical treatment of pain’.

Moreover, topical analgesics have many advantages, such as:

  • No systemic exposure
  • Low propensity for side effects and drug-drug interactions
  • Absence of addictive and abuse potential
  • No gastric disturbances, first-pass hepatic metabolism, and variable serum concentrations
  • Rub it in where it hurts
  • Localized relief of localized pain
  • No loss of sensation (compared to topical anaesthetics)
  • Combinations between various compounds feasible
  • Potential of value of various formulations in a number of pain states: peripheral neuropathic pain such as diabetic neuropathic pain, post-herpetic neuralgia, chemotherapy induced polyneuropathy, chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy, small fiber neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, phantom pain, post-thoracic pain, scar-pain, etc.