Adults who suffer from pain due to diabetic peripheral neuropathy of the feet now have another treatment option: QUTENZA (capsaicin) 8% patch has received extended-label approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA originally approved the pain management patch in 2009 for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia pain. Averitas Pharma, Morristown, NJ, handles the US commercialization of Qutenza for Grünenthal Group company, Aachen, German.
QUTENZA is a topical, non-systemic, non-opioid pain treatment delivered in the form of a patch and, according to the manufacturer, is the first and only treatment of its kind to deliver prescription strength capsaicin directly into the skin. To administer QUTENZA, an in-office visit is required during which the physician will first apply a topical anesthetic to the area to be treated, and then the patch will be applied. Up to 4 patches can be used at one time, for 30 minutes for treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy of the feet, or up to 60 minutes for other locations. If pain returns, the treatment can be reapplied not more frequently than every 3 months.
The most common adverse reactions include application site reactions, such as reddening of the skin, pain, and itchiness. Accidental exposure from touching the patch can cause severe irritation of eyes, mucous membranes, respiratory tract, and skin.
Additional safety information and the complete list of adverse reactions are contained in the full prescribing information, which can be found at www.qutenza.com/pdfs/Qutenza_Prescribing_Information.pdf.