NGX-4010, a capsaicin 8% dermal patch, administered alone or in combination with systemic neuropathic pain medications, reduces pain in patients with postherpetic neuralgia

Clin J Pain. 2012 Feb;28(2):101-7. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e318227403d.


Objectives: Analyses of integrated data from 4 controlled postherpetic neuralgia studies evaluated the effect of NGX-4010, a capsaicin 8% patch, administered alone or together with systemic neuropathic pain medications.

Methods: Patients recorded their “average pain for the past 24 hours” daily for 12 weeks using an 11-point Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS). Efficacy assessment included the percentage NPRS score reduction from baseline during weeks 2 to 8 and 2 to 12, the proportion of patients responding during weeks 2 to 8 and 2 to 12 and the Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) at weeks 8 and 12.

Results: During the studies, 302 NGX-4010 and 250 control (capsaicin, 0.04% wt/wt) patients were using at least 1 systemic neuropathic pain medication; 295 NGX-4010 and 280 control patients were not. During weeks 2 to 8, NGX-4010 patients reported greater reductions in NPRS scores compared with control both in patients using systemic neuropathic pain medications (26.1% vs. 18.1%, P=0.0011) and in patients not using these medications (36.5% vs. 26.2%, P=0.0002). Patients not using systemic neuropathic pain medications reported a greater reduction in pain compared with patients using these medications in both, NGX-4010 and control groups, resulting in comparable treatment differences between NGX-4010 and control regardless of systemic neuropathic pain medication use. Similar results were seen during weeks 2 to 12, for the responder and PGIC analyses. Transient, capsaicin-related application site reactions were the most common adverse events and not affected by systemic neuropathic pain medication use.

Conclusion: A single 60-minute NGX-4010 treatment reduces PHN for up to 12 weeks regardless of concomitant systemic neuropathic pain medication use.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Aged
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Capsaicin / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / diagnosis
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / drug therapy*
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / epidemiology*
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects*
  • Pain Measurement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Analgesics
  • Capsaicin