Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a painful complication of acute herpes zoster. This multicenter, double-blind, controlled study randomized 299 PHN patients to receive either NGX-4010, a high-concentration capsaicin (8%) patch, or a low-concentration capsaicin (0.04%) control patch for 30, 60, or 90 minutes. The mean percent reductions in NPRS score from baseline to weeks 2 through 8 were significantly greater in the total NGX-4010 group (26.5%, P = .0286) and the 90-minute NGX-4010 group (27.8%, P = .0438) compared to the pooled control group (17.3%). After review of the data suggested a difference between genders in reporting of pain scores and a higher proportion of males (61%) in the 60-minute NGX-4010 group, post hoc gender-stratified analyses were performed and showed that the 60-minute NGX-4010 group also had a significantly larger mean percent reduction in average pain scores (28.0%, P = .0331). Pain reduction in the 30-minute NGX-4010 group, although similar in magnitude to the other doses, was not significantly different from control in either of these analyses. Similar results were observed during weeks 2 through 12. Most treatment-emergent adverse events were application-site specific, transient and mostly mild to moderate in severity.
This article reports the safety and efficacy of NGX-4010 applied for 3 different durations (30, 60, or 90 minutes) in patients with PHN. The results identified the 60-minute duration as the dose to be evaluated in subsequent studies and identified a gender effect on reported changes in pain.