Purpose of review
Current oral treatments for neuropathic pain associated with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) have limited clinical efficacy, and undesirable side-effects. Topically delivered treatments have the advantage of avoiding CNS side-effects, while relieving pain. We have reviewed treatments of neuropathic pain associated with CIPN, focusing on the Capsaicin 8% patch, which can provide pain relief for up to 3 months or longer after a single 30–60-min application.
Capsaicin 8% patch is a licensed treatment in the EU/UK for neuropathic pain and shown to be safe and effective in providing pain relief for patients with CIPN. Repeated daily oral or topical administrations are not required, as with other current treatments. The side-effects are transient and restricted to the time around patch application. New evidence suggests the Capsaicin 8% patch can promote the regeneration and restoration of skin nerve fibres in CIPN, in addition to the pain relief.
The Capsaicin 8% patch is now often a preferred a treatment option for localised neuropathic pain conditions, including the feet and hands in patients with CIPN. Capsaicin 8% patch can be repeated three-monthly, if needed, for a year. In addition to pain relief, it may have a disease-modifying effect.