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Temporary relief of postherpetic neuralgia pain with topical geranium oil

      Postherpetic neuralgia has the features of neuropathic pain syndromes: sensory abnormalities, ongoing pain, allodynia, and a well-defined pathogenesis and onset (
      • Oaklander A.L.
      The pathology of shingles.
      ). The effectiveness of neuropathic pain treatments is limited (
      • Bonezzi C.
      • Demartini L.
      Treatment options in postherpetic neuralgia.
      ,
      • Menke J.J.
      • Heins J.R.
      Treatment of postherpetic neuralgia.
      ,
      • Comer A.M.
      • Lamb H.M.
      Lidocaine patch 5%.
      ,
      • Wiffen P.
      • Collins S.
      • McQuay H.
      • Carroll D.
      • Jadad A.
      • Moore A.
      Anticonvulsant drugs for acute and chronic pain.
      ,
      • Kotani N.
      • Kushikata T.
      • Hashimoto H.
      • et al.
      Intrathecal methylprednisolone for intractable postherpetic neuralgia.
      ). Geranium oil, a steam distillate of the geranium plant (Pelargonium spp) that is used in flavors and fragrances, is generally regarded as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (

      Office of Health and Human Services, Code of Federal Regulations 1990; Part 182.20; 295-396

      ,

      Flavoring Extract Manufacturer's Association. Neuragen RL. Transdermal Oil for Treatment of Pain, Origin BioMedicinals, 2003. Available at: http://www.originbiomed.com/pages/neur_background.html

      ). We conducted a study to assess neuropathic pain relief with topical geranium oil, to confirm its safety, to define a dose-response relation, and to define the timing of the onset of pain relief.
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      References

        • Oaklander A.L.
        The pathology of shingles.
        Arch Neurol. 1999; 56: 1292-1294
        • Bonezzi C.
        • Demartini L.
        Treatment options in postherpetic neuralgia.
        Acta Neurol Scand. 1999; 173: 25-52
        • Menke J.J.
        • Heins J.R.
        Treatment of postherpetic neuralgia.
        J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash). 1999; 39: 217-221
        • Comer A.M.
        • Lamb H.M.
        Lidocaine patch 5%.
        Drugs. 2000; 59: 245-251
        • Wiffen P.
        • Collins S.
        • McQuay H.
        • Carroll D.
        • Jadad A.
        • Moore A.
        Anticonvulsant drugs for acute and chronic pain.
        Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000; 3: CD001133
        • Kotani N.
        • Kushikata T.
        • Hashimoto H.
        • et al.
        Intrathecal methylprednisolone for intractable postherpetic neuralgia.
        N Engl J Med. 2000; 343: 1514-1519
      1. Office of Health and Human Services, Code of Federal Regulations 1990; Part 182.20; 295-396

      2. Flavoring Extract Manufacturer's Association. Neuragen RL. Transdermal Oil for Treatment of Pain, Origin BioMedicinals, 2003. Available at: http://www.originbiomed.com/pages/neur_background.html