According to the Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved Optimizing Patient Experience and Response to Topical Analgesics (OPERA) Study, topical treatments may provide an effective and safer treatment alternative to opioids and prescription NSAIDs for the management of chronic pain.
“The results of this study show that topical analgesics were associated with reductions of up to 60% in the use of concurrent pain medications, including oral opioid analgesics,” says Jeffrey Gudin, Director of Pain and Palliative Care at Englewood Hospital in New Jersey and the study’s lead investigator, in a media release.
“Topical agents have the potential to provide analgesic effects without the risk of abuse, misuse, and addiction or systemic adverse events (AEs) associated with oral analgesics. Also, they lower the risk of systemic AEs and drug-drug interactions, have limited systemic absorption, offer simple-dose determination, provide direct access to the target site, and are easy for patients to apply,” he adds.
Topical treatments are effective and safe for the relief of moderately severe chronic pain associated with arthritis, neuropathic conditions, and musculoskeletal disorders while not carrying the same risks of abuse, misuse, addiction or adverse effects associated with some oral treatments, the study suggests, per the release.
Among the study participants, 54% of treated patients in the 3-month group and 60% of treated patients in the 6-month group de-escalated the use of concurrent pain medications compared to 4% and 6% in the untreated groups. The untreated groups saw an increase in medication usage in 52% of cases (compared to only 10% for the treated group.
Treated patients reported a preference for topical treatments both for their convenience and ease of use and 99.5% of patients reported no side effects while using the topical treatments, the release continues.
Dennis Harris, MD, Clarity’s Chief Medical Officer and an author of the study notes, “The study is important in that existing topical analgesics that have lost big Pharma interest have been found not only to have a profound therapeutic effect, but also offer a safe and effective alternative to opioids. The study demonstrates a measurable improvement in quality of life. New and experimental drugs are not always the answer to current issues; even with generic combinations, we can immediately address such monumental issues such as the current opioid epidemic.”
[Source(s): Clarity Science, PR Newswire]