Advances in topical analgesics

Magdalena Anitescu*, Honorio T Benzon, Charles E. Argoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The recent increase in opioid consumption in the modern world prompted pain physicians to find new and improved solutions to tackle chronic, refractory pain syndromes. Topical analgesics are emerging as a valued multimodal analgesic arm in the fight against chronic pain. Recent findings: New and improved topical formulations have emerged as effective tools to treat chronic refractory pain. In addition to formulations manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry, there has been a recent interest in mixed topical products by local, regional and national compounding pharmacies. This review will focus on advances in topical analgesics, especially their role as an effective analgesic in nociceptive and neuropathic refractory pain states. We will explore topical analgesics' mechanisms of action and their efficacy as opioid-sparing formulations. Summary: This review will allow physicians to understand the role of topical agents in the treatment of intractable pain syndromes. Increasing medical providers' familiarity with these agents will allow their incorporation as part of a complex analgesic regimen for an improved pain management plan benefiting the patient population at large.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Anaesthesiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Compounding pharmaceuticals
  • Topical analgesics
  • Topical anti-inflammatory
  • Topical capsaicin
  • Topical ketamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Advances in topical analgesics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this