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Qutenza (capsaicin)

Qutenza is approved for treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain in non-diabetic adults, either as monotherapy or in combination with other analgesics. The Qutenza patch contains capsaicin – the substance responsible for the fiery taste of chili – which is a selective agonist for the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptor. Pain relief is invoked by desensibilisation of this receptor.


No comparative studies showing a better effect of Qutenza than other existing analgesics have been performed. Based on the reported treatment effect and price IRF finds that Qutenza is not an obvious choice as first line treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain. However, it can be used as add-on treatment or in combination if current treatment regimens are not efficient. Given that Qutenza’s side effects primarily are local Qutenza can also be an alternative if patients experience unacceptable adverse events from their present treatment.


A treatment kit containing one Qutenza 14 x 20 cm (5.5 x 7.9 in) cutaneous patch costs 3,163.85 Dkr. Qutenza was marketed on November 15th, 2010. At the present time, there is no reimbursement for Qutenza.

The Institute for Rational Pharmacotherapy, December 21, 2010.

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