"We are delighted to make Qutenza available for the many patients suffering from PHN and for the physicians looking for new ways to manage post-shingles pain," said Anthony DiTonno, president and chief executive officer, NeurogesX. "At NeurogesX, we have been committed to developing novel pain management therapies based on the power of prescription-strength capsaicin. Qutenza, which can provide patients with three months of pain relief, bears witness to the efficacy of capsaicin and the culmination of 10 years of work to bring this product to market for the benefit of PHN patients."
Up to four Qutenza patches may be used and patches may be cut to conform to the size and shape of the painful area. Treatment with Qutenza may be repeated every three or more months as warranted by the return of pain, but not more frequently than every three months.
In clinical trials, the most common side effects were application-site redness, pain, itching, and papules (small bumps). The majority of these reactions were local, transient and self limited. Among patients treated with Qutenza, 1 percent discontinued prematurely due to an adverse event. Serious adverse reactions included application-site pain and increased blood pressure. Increases in blood pressure occurred during or shortly after exposure to Qutenza and were associated with treatment-related increases in pain. The changes were on average less than 10 mm Hg, although some patients had greater increases, and these changes lasted for approximately two hours after patch removal.
NeurogesX is encouraging in-person, educational in-service training for health care professionals interested in prescribing and administering Qutenza for patients with PHN. Training will be provided by clinical educators who offer in-service demonstrations and answer any questions the physician or health care professional may have. Educational training for health care professionals is available online and on DVD through www.Qutenza.com or 888-YOU-LRNQ (5767).About Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN) Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is nerve pain that occurs following an attack of shingles. Shingles can damage nerves, and the pain from damaged nerves may feel like a sharp, burning, tingling, shooting sensation or numbness. The pain from PHN can persist long after the shingles rash clears up and can disrupt sleep, mood, work and activities of daily living. The risk of developing PHN increases with age (especially in people over 60) and for patients who experienced severe pain or severe rash during the acute shingles episode.