New analgesic formulation of phenytoin acts via the skin

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 07-11-2017.

Topical Innovations BV introduced today a new important paradigm to treat localized neuropathic pain (LNP). LNP is the most common presentation of neuropathic pain, affecting about 60% of all patients suffering from neuropathic pain. The war against opioids is ongoing to guard patients from abuse, misuse and dependency, sometimes leading to death. Topical analgesics may play a major role in this field, potentially saving lives of many patients.

Transdermal formulations of painkillers are well known and much appreciated. Much less is known about topical analgesics you can rub in the skin, and which act directly in the skin. Researchers from the company Topical Innovations published new and remarkable data supporting the old and established anticonvulsive compound phenytoin as a topical painkiller. They found good painkilling properties of this cream, without the need for phenytoin to enter the blood via the skin. They pointed out the importance of these findings in a paper which will go on line later this month. Authors are patent holders of two patents related to the topical formulations of phenytoin in the treatment of pain.

Reference: Keppel Hesselink JM, Kopsky DJ. Topical analgesia: transdermal or ‘intradermal’ mechanisms of action?. Sci J Neurol Neurosurg. 2017;3(3): 068-069.