August 14, 2018
This article was sponsored by Vizuri Health Sciences.
A new topical analgesic product containing capsaicin has arrived on the retail market. Vizuri Health Sciences’ PainBloc24® is an over-the-counter (OTC) formulation intended to provide relief to patients experiencing pain associated with osteoarthritis, according to information on Vizuri’s website.
Capsaicin is a natural substance found in chili peppers, and the cause of a temporary burning sensation that occurs when chili peppers are eaten. Capsaicin also relieves pain by blocking transmission of pain signals along certain nerve fibers, known as c-fibers. PainBloc24 has the highest concentration (capsaicin 0.25%) of any other OTC product, according to the website.
When applied to an affected area, capsaicin-containing PainBloc24® penetrates the skin and binds to specialized receptors on these c-fibers, disrupting transmissions to the brain. According to Vizuri, pain relief increases gradually with continued use until it reaches its maximum effect after several days of daily applications.
Charlie Birbara, MD, a rheumatologist at UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, MA, and a Vizuri board member, said repeated use of capsaicin will lead to c-fibers becoming desensitized, and they will ultimately be unable to transmit pain signals.
“When one stops using capsaicin, the c-fibers eventually recover function, and I would expect that in some people, the original pain sensation would recur,” he added. “The best results do occur when an individual uses PainBloc24® on a daily or every other day frequency, when the initial pain is significantly reduced.”
There are no drug interactions, according to Birbara. However, PainBloc24® may cause a temporary, mild to moderate burning sensation at the application site.
To minimize the risk of a reaction at the application site, Vizuri officials recommend that the area not be covered with a bandage, nor should a heating pad be used with the drug. Also, PainBloc24® should not be applied to broken or irritated skin. Users are also warned against taking a hot shower or working up a sweat immediately after the product is applied.
In addition, Birbara warned that individuals taking PainBloc24® should take care that the treatment does not get in the eyes, mouth or other mucous membrane surfaces.
PainBloc24® can be purchased online at www.painbloc24.com, and recently entered the market in some major pharmacy retailers, including CVS.
“Pharmacists should be aware that there is a true biologic basis for the pain relief obtained with PainBloc24®, that its pain-relieving effect has durability, and increasing efficacy when used daily for a variable period of time,” said Birbara. “The agent is really very safe.”
Vizuri officials are planning to launch additional capsaicin-containing products, according to a press release, including a prescription-strength formulation (1% capsaicin) currently being evaluated in a phase 2 clinical trial study for osteoarthritic knee pain relief. In support of its initiatives, the company recently received approval for a new United States patent that grants Vizuri exclusive rights to certain high strength topical CAP compositions.
In a prepared statement, William Moore, PhD, Vizuri’s President and Chief Executive Officer said the United States Patent and Trademark Office has recognized the utility and advantages of the company’s unique capsaicin-containing formulations.
“The (new) patent improves our ability to develop, market and protect highly safe, effective, and nonaddictive products for the treatment of numerous chronic pain conditions that affect our aging demographic, and further establishes our competitive position in the marketplace,” he said, in the statement.
- Vizuri Health Sciences. Frequently asked questions. PainBloc24 website. https://painbloc24.com/products/painbloc24-topical-capsaicin-roll-on/faqs/. Accessed Aug. 1, 2018.
- Vizuri Health Sciences Consumer Healthcare, Inc. Granted New US Patent for Novel Topical Analgesic Formulations Containing Capsaicin [news release]. Fairfax, VA; July 16, 2018; Vizuri USA website. http://vizuriusa.com/news/. Accessed Aug. 1, 2018.