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ASA: Capsaicin Reduces Post Herniotomy Pain

Small study suggests that capsaicin wound instillation may decrease short-term pain

MONDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In men who undergo open mesh groin hernia repair, the use of a novel purified capsaicin formulation may help reduce short-term postoperative pain, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, in San Francisco.

Eske K. Aasvang, M.D., of the Juliane Marie Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues randomly assigned 41 adults male patients to receive either a single intraoperative wound instillation of 1,000 milligrams of ultra-purified capsaicin (ALGRX 4975) or placebo.

During the first three days after surgery, the researchers found that average pain scores were significantly lower in the capsaicin group than in the placebo group. But they observed no significant differences in pain scores during the first week or the entire 28-day study period. Although they found that the capsaicin group had no clinically significant serious adverse events, they observed that this group tended to have more elevations in liver enzymes compared to the placebo group.

"The potential for a much longer duration -- potentially weeks -- of pain relief induced by a single administration of ultra purified capsaicin should be investigated in patients with severe postoperative pain," Aasvang said in a prepared statement.

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