Is physician supervision of the capsaicin 8% patch administration procedure really necessary? An opinion from health care professionals
Kai-Uwe Kern,1 Janice England,2 Andrea Roth-Daniek,3 Till Wagner3
1Institute for Pain Medicine/Pain Practice, Wiesbaden, Germany; 2Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia, The Christie National Health Service Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK; 3Pain Therapy and Palliative Care Department, Medizinisches Zentrum Städteregion Aachen, Aachen, Germany
Abstract: Neuropathic pain is difficult to treat and can have a severe effect on quality of life. The capsaicin 8% patch is a novel treatment option that directly targets the source of peripheral neuropathic pain. It can provide pain relief for up to 12 weeks in patients with peripheral neuropathic pain. Treatment with the capsaicin 8% patch follows a clearly defined procedure, and patch application must be carried out by a physician or a health care professional under the supervision of a physician. Nonetheless, in our experience, nurses often take the lead role in capsaicin 8% patch application without the involvement of a physician. We believe that the nurse's key role is of benefit to the patients, as he or she may be better placed, because of time constraints and patient relationships, to support the patient through the application procedure than a physician. Moreover, a number of frequently prescribed drugs, including botulinum toxin and infliximab, can be administered by health care professionals without the requirement for physician supervision. Here we argue that current guidance should be amended to remove the requirement for physician supervision during application of the capsaicin 8% patch.
Keywords: capsaicin, neuropathic pain, topical, health care professional, physician, nurse
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