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Qutenza(R) (capsaicin) 8% Patch For Treatment Of Post-Shingles Pain Now Available

SAN MATEO, Calif., April 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NeurogesX, Inc. (Nasdaq: NGSX) announced today that Qutenza® (capsaicin) 8% patch, the first and only product containing prescription-strength capsaicin, is now available. Clinical studies have shown that a single one-hour Qutenza application can provide three months relief from pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the nerve pain that can occur after shingles.

In November 2009, Qutenza was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of neuropathic pain associated with PHN. Qutenza, the first product from NeurogesX, is now available through selected specialty distributors and a specialty pharmacy -- a complete list of these distributors is available at

Qutenza is the first prescription-strength topical treatment for PHN to be approved by the FDA in more than 10 years. Qutenza harnesses the power of capsaicin in a dermal delivery system that targets the nerves in the skin. It is locally-acting and non-narcotic, and unlikely to cause drowsiness or interact with other drugs. Qutenza can be used alone or with other pain medications.  

Each year, about one million Americans develop shingles, a painful viral infection caused by a reactivation of the same virus that causes chickenpox. It is estimated that up to one in five people with shingles will experience prolonged pain after shingles, known as PHN. The pain can persist long after the shingles rash clears up and can disrupt sleep, mood, work and the activities of daily living.

"PHN can be an excruciatingly painful condition that can greatly affect many aspects of a person's daily living," said Lynn Webster, M.D., medical director, Lifetree Clinical Research, Salt Lake City, Utah. "Despite the current availability of a variety of pain medications, undesirable side effects, such as drowsiness and interactions with other drugs, often limit their use. Because of these limitations, there is still a need for new treatment options for PHN, and, more importantly, many patients are still suffering. Qutenza may provide a unique treatment option for patients. It is targeted directly to the site of the pain and may be used alone or in combination with existing therapies."

"I have suffered from post-shingles pain for more than four years," said Brad Smith, a 68-year-old husband, father of four, and PHN patient who participated in the Qutenza clinical trials. "I tolerated tremendous pain every day. Qutenza gave me relief, and I was grateful for the treatment."

The active ingredient in Qutenza is a synthetic form of capsaicin, a naturally occurring compound found in chili peppers that gives them their heat sensation. Qutenza is applied directly to the painful site by a physician or health care professional under the close supervision of a physician.

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