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Eur J Pain. 2018 May;22(5):941-950. doi: 10.1002/ejp.1180. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Pain-relieving effectiveness, quality of life and tolerability of repeated capsaicin 8% patch treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain in Scandinavian clinical practice.

Author information

Department of Molecular Medicine & Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Pain Research & Treatment, Division of Emergencies and Critical Care, Oslo University Hospital, Norway.
Department of Neurology and Danish Pain Research Center, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.
UIT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.
Astellas Pharma A/S Nordic Operations, Kastrup, Denmark.



Clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of the capsaicin 8% patch in patients with peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP); however, few studies have assessed this treatment in a clinical practice.


To determine whether treatment and re-treatment with the capsaicin 8% patch reduce PNP intensity in clinical practice.


Three non-interventional, observational studies were concurrently conducted in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Patients with probable or definite PNP received one or two treatments with the capsaicin 8% patch according to usual clinical practice. All analyses were performed on combined data.


Overall, 382 and 181 patients received treatment and re-treatment, respectively, with the capsaicin 8% patch. At the group level, a significant reduction in mean level of 'usual pain' intensity (Numerical Pain Rating Scale) over the last 24 h' score was observed from baseline to Weeks 2 through 8 [-1.05 (95% confidence interval: -1.27, 0.82); p < 0.001] with 28% and 31% of patients reporting a ≥30% reduction in pain after first treatment and re-treatment, respectively. Improvements in health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-3L index) and overall health status (Patient Global Impression of Change) were observed early (Week 1) and throughout the treatment periods. Most application site reactions subsided within a week after treatment. Following treatment and re-treatment, 57% and 71% of patients, respectively, were willing to undergo further treatment with the capsaicin 8% patch.


In Scandinavian clinical practice, capsaicin 8% patch treatment was associated with significant reductions in pain intensity and was well tolerated with over half of patients willing to undergo re-treatment.

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