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New Topical Treatment for Continued Pain After Shingles

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00566904
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 4, 2007
Last Update Posted : August 31, 2011
Information provided by (Responsible Party):

Study Description
Brief Summary:
Shingles is an outbreak of rash or blisters on the skin that is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Some people experience continued pain even after the shingles rash and blisters have healed; this pain is known as postherpetic neuralgia. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a new topical treatment for postherpetic neuralgia in adults.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Postherpetic Neuralgia Drug: Epikeia coatings with aspirin Drug: Epikeia coatings with lidocaine Other: Epikeia coatings alone Phase 1

Detailed Description:

After an initial infection of chicken pox, the varicella-zoster virus can remain dormant inside nerve cells. Years later, the virus can be reactivated, causing a repeat outbreak called shingles. The first symptom of shingles is usually a burning or tingling pain in one particular location and on one side of the body. This pain can range from mild to severe. Other possible symptoms of shingles include numbness and itching. After several days or 1 week, a rash of fluid-filled blisters similar to chicken pox appears. For most healthy people, a case of shingles heals within a month. However, some people continue to feel pain after the rash and blisters have resolved; this pain is known as postherpetic neuralgia. Current treatments for postherpetic neuralgia include antiviral drugs, steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical products. A new topical treatment consists of a liquid product that is applied directly to the skin to let dry and form a thin, transparent barrier film. In contrast to creams or ointments that can stay in contact with skin for only minutes, this product remains intact on the skin for many hours, providing sustained delivery of a drug or medication while maintaining barrier protection for the skin. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of this new topical treatment for postherpetic neuralgia in adults.

This study will last about 3 weeks and will include seven study visits on Days 1, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23. All study visits will include questionnaires on pain levels and an examination and digital photos of the affected skin area. The study visit on Day 1 will also include a urine pregnancy test and a review of medical and medication history. During the study visits on Days 8, 15, and 22, one of three topical products will be applied to participants' affected skin. The product will dry on the skin in 30 to 45 seconds. Participants will then wait at the study site for 1.5 hours, after which they will record the time when they experienced pain relief. At each of these three treatment visits, participants will receive one of the following three topical products: Epikeia coatings with aspirin, Epikeia coatings with local anesthetic, and Epikeia coatings alone. At these three study visits, questionnaires, examinations, and digital photographs will occur both before and after the products are applied to the skin. Throughout the study, participants will record their pain levels and medications in a diary, which will be reviewed at all study visits.

Study Design

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Single (Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Phase 1 Novel Topical Treatment for Post-herpetic Neuralgia
Study Start Date : September 2006
Primary Completion Date : August 2008
Study Completion Date : September 2008

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Shingles
Drug Information available for: Aspirin
U.S. FDA Resources

Arms and Interventions

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: 1
Participants will receive one of three different topical treatments on Days 8, 15, or 22.
Drug: Epikeia coatings with aspirin
Applied to affected skin area using a roll-on ball applicator
Other Name: Epikeia coatings with acetylsalicylic acid
Drug: Epikeia coatings with lidocaine
Applied to affected skin area using a roll-on ball applicator
Other Name: Epikeia coatings with local anesthetic
Other: Epikeia coatings alone
Applied to affected skin area using a roll-on ball applicator

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Latency to analgesia onset and duration of analgesia measures [ Time Frame: Between 8 and 16 hours after treatment application ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Skin irritation potential [ Time Frame: Between 8 and 24 hours after treatment application ]

Eligibility Criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • In good general health
  • Postherpetic neuralgia, defined as pain persisting more than 4 months after onset of herpes zoster outbreak
  • Willing to use effective forms of contraception for the duration of the study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Known lidocaine sensitivity or allergy
  • Inability to discontinue use of any nonstudy lidocaine-containing products for the duration of the study
  • Known hypersensitivity to aspirin
  • Open herpes zoster blisters
  • Known sensitivity or allergy to an amide-type local anesthetic agent
  • Existing conditions that make participation unsafe
  • Pregnant
  • Immunocompromised (e.g., HIV infected)
  • Herpes zoster in any dermatome (area of skin innervated by a specific sensory nerve) affecting the face or scalp
  • Affected skin area is greater than 420 square cm
  • Affected area includes skin breakdown or nonintact skin
  • Affected area consists of more than one contiguous area
Contacts and Locations

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00566904

United States, Texas
Dermatology Clincial Reseach Center
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Sponsors and Collaborators
Biomedical Development Corporation
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Principal Investigator: Adelaide A. Hebert, MD The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
More Information

Responsible Party: Biomedical Development Corporation
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00566904     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R43AR052998 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
1R43AR052998-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: December 4, 2007    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 31, 2011
Last Verified: August 2011

Keywords provided by Biomedical Development Corporation:
Post-herpetic Neuralgia
Pain after Shingles

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neuralgia, Postherpetic
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Anesthetics, Local
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Blockers
Sodium Channel Blockers
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Antirheumatic Agents
Fibrinolytic Agents
Fibrin Modulating Agents
Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors