Shafer SL, Teichman SL, Gottlieb IJ, et al. Safety and Efficacy of Vocacapsaicin for Management of Postsurgical Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Anesthesiology. 2024 Aug 1;141(2):250-261. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000005027. (Original study)

BACKGROUND: Nonopioid management of postsurgical pain remains a major unmet need. Few studies have evaluated transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily member 1 agonists for analgesia after surgery. This study examines intraoperative vocacapsaicin, a novel prodrug of the transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily member 1 agonist capsaicin, in a validated model of postsurgical pain.

METHODS: This was a triple-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging trial in patients undergoing bunionectomy. Patients were randomized 1:1:1:1 to surgical site administration of 14 ml of placebo or one of three vocacapsaicin concentrations: 0.30, 0.15, or 0.05 mg/ml. The prespecified primary endpoint was the area-under-the-curve of the numerical rating scale pain score at rest through 96 h for the 0.30 mg/ml group. Prespecified ordered, secondary endpoints for the 0.30 mg/ml group included the percentage of patients who did not require opioids from 0 to 96 h, total opioid consumption through 96 h, and the area-under-the-curve of the numerical rating scale pain score for the first week.

RESULTS: The 147 patients were randomized. During the first 96 h, vocacapsaicin (0.30 mg/ml) reduced pain at rest by 33% versus placebo (primary endpoint, 95% CI [10%, 52%], effect size [Cohen's d] = 0.61, P = 0.005). Of patients receiving vocacapsaicin (0.30 mg/ml), 26% did not require postoperative opioids for analgesia (P = 0.025) versus 5% of patients receiving placebo. Vocacapsaicin (0.30 mg/ml) reduced opioid consumption over the first 96 h by 50% versus placebo (95% CI [26%, 67%], effect size = 0.76, P = 0.002). Vocacapsaicin (0.30 mg/ml) reduced pain over the first week by 37% versus placebo (95% CI [12%, 57%], effect size = 0.62, P = 0.004). The treatment effect persisted for at least 2 weeks. All study endpoints showed an administered concentration-versus-response relationship. Vocacapsaicin was well tolerated with no differences between groups in any safety parameter.

CONCLUSIONS: A single, local administration of vocacapsaicin during surgery reduced pain and opioid consumption for at least 96 h after surgery compared to control.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 6 / 7
Show me more articles about:
  Postoperative Pain
Comments from PAIN+ CPN subscribers

No subscriber has commented on this article yet.