Pain Relief Patch Significantly Reduced Moderate to Severe Chronic Pain What are the main findings?

Response: After 14 days of using the patch, patients reported that their pain severity (as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) validated scale) decreased significantly, by 49.0% compared to 12.3% for patients in the control group who did not use the patch. Pain interference scores significantly improved by 58.1% for patients using the patch compared to 14.8% for those patients in the control group.  No side effects were reported by patients over the 14 day study period.

In addition, at day 14, over 60% of the treated patients were using concomitant oral pain medications a lot less and over 90%of patients were very or extremely satisfied with the patch. After 14 days in the control group, 34 patients crossed over to the treated group for another 14 days and showed similar reductions in pain severity and improvement in function. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Topical therapies, including this pain-relieving patch, should be considered as first line therapy by healthcare professionals and patients who experience mild to moderate and chronic pain conditions. With minimal reported side effects as compared to what is routinely reported with oral NSAIDS and narcotics, including opioids, topical analgesics may provide a viable treatment alternative for patients. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: This IRB-approved observational study was an important first step in evaluating whether a topical analgesic patch could reduce pain severity and improve pain interference over the course of 14 days. Further research, including a randomized controlled trial, is suggested to confirm these results.

Any disclosures?

Peter Hurwitz, President of Clarity Science LLC, based in Narragansett, Rhode Island, has been in the pain space for over 30 years and has conducted and administered over 26 IRB-approved clinical trials. Results of these studies have been presented at international pain and other scientific congresses and have been peer-reviewed published. The RELIEF study was funded by a grant from Hisamitsu America, the makers of the Salonpas Pain-Relieving Patch.


Gudin JA, Dietze DT, Hurwitz PL. Improvement of Pain and Function After Use of a Topical Pain Relieving Patch: Results of the RELIEF Study. J Pain Res. 2020;13:1557-1568


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