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Improvement of Pain and Function After Use of a Topical Pain Relieving Patch: Results of the RELIEF Study

Authors Gudin JA, Dietze DT, Hurwitz PL

Received 19 April 2020

Accepted for publication 19 June 2020

Published 26 June 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1557—1568


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Jeffrey A Gudin,1 Derek T Dietze,2 Peter L Hurwitz3

1Englewood Hospital Medical Center, Englewood, NJ; Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Department of Anesthesiology, Newark, NJ, USA; 2Metrics for Learning LLC, Queen Creek, AZ, USA; 3Clarity Science LLC, Narragansett, RI, USA

Correspondence: Peter L Hurwitz
Clarity Science LLC, 750 Boston Neck Road, Suite 11, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA
Tel +1917-757-0521
Fax +1855-891-8303

Purpose: Pain is the most common reason for patients to consult primary care providers. Identification of effective treatments with minimal adverse events is critical to safer opioid-sparing and multi-modal approaches to pain treatment. Topical analgesic patches target medication to peripheral sites of pain while potentially avoiding adverse effects associated with systemic medications. Opioids, prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and over-the-counter oral medications are associated with systemic toxicities, increasing morbidity and mortality. This study evaluated a topical analgesic pain-relieving patch in reducing pain severity and improving function in patients with mild to moderate arthritic, neurological, or musculoskeletal pain.
Patients and Methods: This Institutional Review Board-approved study evaluated the effectiveness of a topical pain-relieving patch in reducing Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) scores in patients. The treatment group (TG) (n=152) received patches for 14 days. A control group (CG) (n=47) did not receive the patch. After day 14, 34 CG patients crossed over to treatment (CROSSG) with the patch. Surveys were administered to patients at baseline and 14 days to assess changes in pain severity and interference. Changes in oral pain medication use, side effects, and satisfaction use were also assessed.
Results: Paired data were collected in the CG, TG and CROSSG. At day 14, TG pain severity score and pain interference score decreased (49% and 58.1%, respectively). Pain severity and interference scores decreased less in the CG (12.3% and 14.8%, respectively). In the study, 60.5% of the TG were using concomitant oral pain medications “a lot less”, and 90.8% were very/extremely satisfied with the patch. CROSSG patients showed similar reductions in pain severity and interference scores after patch treatment. No side effects of treatment were reported.
Conclusion: Results indicate that this topical analgesic pain-relieving patch can reduce BPI pain severity and interference scores in adult patients with mild to moderate arthritic, neurological, and musculoskeletal pain and should be considered as a treatment option.

Keywords: methyl salicylate, menthol, analgesic, Salonpas

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