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Cocaine-free topicals can reduce pain

Olathe, Kan. — Cocaine-free topical agents can effectively treat pain caused by torn skin, providing an alternative anesthetic for doctors suturing skin wounds, Medical News Today reports.

The earliest topical anesthetics contained cocaine, the report notes.

A team of researchers led by Anthony Eidelman, M.D., of the Olathe Medical Center, analyzed data from 32 randomized control trials involving 3,128 patients.

Medical News Today quotes Dr. Eidelman as saying, “The research clearly showed that cocaine-free topical anesthetics can substantially reduce pain without triggering serious side effects.” He added that his team was unable to draw any more-detailed conclusions because the trials varied widely in the ways in which they were performed and the ways in which pain was measured.

“We need to encourage people to do more research using noncocaine topical anesthetics, but this time perform the research in ways that are sufficiently rigorous,” Dr. Eidelman says. “These agents look promising at the moment, but it would be great to confirm their value with high-quality research.”

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