Efficacy of Qutenza® (capsaicin) 8% patch for neuropathic pain: a meta-analysis of the Qutenza Clinical Trials Database

Pain. 2013 Sep;154(9):1632-1639. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.04.044. Epub 2013 May 21.


Qutenza® is a capsaicin patch used to treat peripheral neuropathic pain, including postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and human immunodeficiency virus-associated neuropathy (HIV-AN). The Qutenza Clinical Trials Database has been assembled to more fully characterize the effects of Qutenza. We conducted a within-subject meta-analysis of Qutenza studies to further define the medication's efficacy profile across studies. The meta-analysis combined individual patient data from randomized, controlled studies of Qutenza in peripheral neuropathic pain (1458 subjects treated with approved doses of Qutenza or control patches; 1120 with PHN and 338 with HIV-AN). These 7 studies had similar designs and were performed with the high-dose 8% capsaicin Qutenza patch and a 0.04% low-dose control patch. The difference between treatment groups for the primary efficacy end point of percentage change from baseline to weeks 2 to 12 on pain intensity score was calculated. Response was defined as a ≥ 30% decrease in mean pain intensity score during weeks 2 to 12. The overall between-group difference in percentage change from baseline in pain intensity was 8.0% (95% confidence interval 4.6, 11.5; P<.001), which statistically significantly favored Qutenza over low-dose control. Qutenza superiority was demonstrated for both PHN and HIV-AN patients for the primary end point and the end point proportion of 30% pain reduction response, and for PHN patients for the end point of proportion of 50% pain reduction response. These results confirm that Qutenza is effective for the treatment of both PHN and HIV-AN compared to low-dose control patch.

Keywords: Capsaicin; Neuropathic pain; Patch.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Capsaicin / administration & dosage*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy*
  • Sensory System Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Transdermal Patch*


  • Sensory System Agents
  • Capsaicin