ESRA Academy. Radhakrishnan L. Sep 8, 2016; 138361; 0199 Topic: PAIN THERAPY (ACUTE - CHRONIC)
Dr. Lakshmanan Radhakrishnan
Dr. Lakshmanan Radhakrishnan

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Background and Aims:

Capsaicin is the active component  in chilli . Capsaicin is a TRPV1 agonist. Activation of TRPV1 in the terminals of small diameter primary afferent nociceptors leads to localized defunctionalisation of these afferents and a consequential reduction in pain.   The literature reports pain reduction with Capsaicin  in approximately a third of patients with a reduction in pain scores of the order of 30%.  The focus of this audit was to evaluate the efficacy of Capsaicin 8% patches  in improving pain and QOL.


The patient referred to pain service with peripheral neuropathic pain were triaged before treatment for Capsaicin. This audit data was collected by   retrospective review of computer records held in the hospital computer system and telephone review of patient outcome by  the authors. The outcome measures were collected by using a pain management score sheet that includes percentage and duration of pain relief following Capsaicin treatment, additional pain relief pain medications taken, improvement in sleep, mobility and QOL.  


The total numbers included in the study between October 2013 and November 2015 was 21. The indications for treatment was post herpetic neuralgia 38% (8/21) and post-surgical or scar pain 30% (8/21). Ten patients out of 21 (47%) reported at least 30% pain relief of which half of them had at least 60 percent pain relief.  One in two patients stopped their neuropathic medications and 1 in 5 could stop opiates.








This audit  shows  the use of topical Capsaicin patches in patients with neuropathic pain can significantly improve clinical outcome and QOL.


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