- Compounded topical pain creams offer no more relief than placebo for neuropathic, nociceptive, and mixed localized chronic pain.
Why this matters
- Compounded pain creams are expensive and, unlike single agents such as NSAIDs and lidocaine, are not approved or regulated by the FDA.
- Double-blind, randomized, parallel study of 399 patients with neuropathic (n=133), nociceptive (n=133), or mixed (n=133) localized chronic pain.
- Patients were randomly assigned to receive either specially formulated compounded pain cream for each pain type or placebo.
- Funding: Centers for Rehabilitation Sciences Research, Defense Health Agency, US Department of Defense.
- Follow-up time, 1 month.
- Mean reduction in average pain scores was not significantly different between compounded pain cream vs placebo (mean difference [MD], −0.3; 95% CI, −0.6 to 0.1 points).
- Neuropathic pain: (MD, −0.1; 95% CI, −0.8 to 0.5 points).
- Nociceptive pain: (MD, −0.3; 95% CI, −0.9 to 0.2 points).
- Mixed pain (MD, −0.3; 95% CI, −0.9 to 0.2 points).
- Patients reported positive outcome (MD, 8%; 95% CI, −1% to 17%) and positive satisfaction (MD, 5%; 95% CI, −5% to 14%) were not statistically different between groups at 1 month.
- Short follow-up.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD