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Localized neuropathic pain: an expert consensus on local treatments

Authors Pickering G, Martin E, Tiberghien F, Delorme C, Mick G

Received 26 May 2017

Accepted for publication 24 June 2017

Published 13 September 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 2709—2718


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Georgios D. Panos

Gisèle Pickering,1–3 Elodie Martin,1,3 Florence Tiberghien,4 Claire Delorme,5 Gérard Mick6,7

1Centre de Pharmacologie Clinique, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, 2Inserm, CIC 1405, Neurodol 1107, 3Laboratoire de Pharmacologie, Faculté de Médecine, Clermont Université, Clermont-Ferrand, 4Centre d’Evaluation et de Traitement de la Douleur, CHU Jean Minjoz, Besançon, 5Centre d’Evaluation et Traitement de la Douleur, Bayeux, 6Unité d’Evaluation et Traitement de la Douleur, Voiron, 7Laboratoire AGEIS, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France

Background: Pain localization is one of the hallmarks for the choice of first-line treatment in neuropathic pain. This literature review has been conducted to provide an overview of the current knowledge regarding the etiology and pathophysiology of localized neuropathic pain (LNP), its assessment and the existing topical pharmacological treatments.
Materials and methods: Literature review was performed using Medline from 2010 to December 2016, and all studies involving LNP and treatments were examined. A multidisciplinary expert panel of five pain specialists in this article reports a consensus on topical approaches that may be recommended to alleviate LNP and on their advantages in clinical practice.
Results: Successive international recommendations have included topical 5% lidocaine and 8% capsaicin for LNP treatment. The expert panel considers that these compounds can be a first-line treatment for LNP, especially in elderly patients and patients with comorbidities and polypharmacy. Regulatory LNP indications should cover the whole range of LNP and not be restricted to specific etiologies or sites. Precautions for the use of plasters must be followed cautiously.
Conclusion: Although there is a real need for more randomized controlled trials for both drugs, publications clearly demonstrate excellent risk/benefit ratios, safety, tolerance and continued efficacy throughout long-term treatment. A major advantage of both plasters is that they have proven efficacy and may reduce the risk of adverse events such as cognitive impairment, confusion, somnolence, dizziness and constipation that are often associated with systemic neuropathic pain treatment and reduce the quality of life. Topical modalities also may be used in combination with other drugs and analgesics with limited drug–drug interactions.

Keywords: neuropathic pain, topical, localized, medicated plaster, patch, review

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