Journal of Anesthesia and Surgery
Pain Specialists’ Awareness of Topical Analgesics and Their Use in Pain Control: Survey Results
- 1Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
- 2Department of Pharmacology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
- 3Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Temple University School of Pharmacy, Philadelphia, PA, USA
- 4NEMA Research Inc., Bonita Springs, FL, USA
- 5Healthy Directions, Bethesda, MD, USA
Joseph V. Pergolizzi, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA, Department of Pharmacology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA, Tel: 239.597.3662/239.908.4442, Fax: 239.908.4432; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pergolizzi, J.V., et al. Pain Specialists Awareness of Topical Analgesics and Their Use in Pain Control: Survey Results. (2016) J Anesth Surg 3(3): 1- 5.
© 2016 Pergolizzi, J.V. This is an Open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
KeywordsTopical analgesics; Topical pain relievers; Chronic pain; Acute pain; Musculoskeletal pain; Arthritis
Background: Over-the-counter (OTC) topical analgesics are an important part of the armamentarium for pain management, but it was not clear if and to what extent prescribers discussed the option of topical analgesics with their patients.
Objective: The objective was to assess the extent to which pain specialists were aware of topical analgesics and how often and under what circumstances they recommended topical pain relievers to their patients to help control painful symptoms.
Methods: The authors conducted a convenience-sample survey at the PAINWeek® meeting in Las Vegas in September 2014. The survey was distributed during the conference and there were 81 respondents (healthcare providers).
Results: Eight-five percent of all respondents (100% of pain physicians) indicated that they recommended OTC topical analgesics to patients and 81.5% said they had no concerns about the safety and tolerability of such products. When asked if topical analgesics could be a good first step in relieving muscle and joint pain, 98.8% of all respondents and 100% of pain specialist physicians expressed agreement.
Conclusion: OTC topical analgesics represent an important option for treating muscle and joint pain. They may offer specific advantages over other pain relievers in that they do not require high serum concentrations of the active agent and therefore may be associated with fewer side effects. OTC topical analgesic products can be easily obtained, self-administered, and allow for improved accessibility. Healthcare professionals specializing in pain are aware of topical analgesics and consider them safe, effective, and a good first-step product in for treating musculoskeletal pain. Clinically tested OTC topical analgesics can be used with confidence as a first-line treatment for acute musculoskeletal pain.