Assessment of the Available Scientific Data Regarding the Safety and Effectiveness of Ingredients Used in Compounded Topical Pain Creams

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Public Health, Quality and Patient Safety, Substance Use and Mental Health
Board: Board on Health Sciences Policy

Activity Description

An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will conduct a study of the ingredients used in compounded topical pain creams. The committee will identify and analyze the available scientific data relating to the ingredients used in compounded topical pain creams and evaluate how those data translate to the safety and effectiveness of compounded topical pain creams with various combinations of those ingredients. Based on this assessment, the committee will develop a report that summarizes its findings, including addressing the following specific items:

  • Identify the ingredients that the available scientific data suggest may not be safe and/or effective to treat pain topically,
  • Describe the concentrations and combinations of ingredients that may raise significant safety issues, and
  • Comment on the level of benefit expected for the various ingredients given their likelihood of absorption through the skin.

Based on these findings, the report will offer recommendations with respect to how the available evidence of safety and efficacy informs the use of compounded topical pain creams to treat patients. 


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