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Humn Pharmaceuticals makes lidocaine


available as a topical pain relieving cream By Haidita Celestine


research director of Humn Pharmaceu- ticals of Winnipeg. “Despite the fact that lidocaine is on the World Health Organization’s list of Essential Medi- cines [a list of the most important medications needed in a basic health- care system] most people are unaware of how well it relieves a wide range of pain conditions,” says Hamilton. For those who know Hamilton,


M


a herbalist, holistic dermatologist, student of traditional Chinese medicine and a graduate of the School of Herbal Medicine in England, it may come as a bit of a surprise to hear him speaking of the benefits of a synthetic drug. Hamil- ton notes, however, that while some people almost always prefer ‘natural’ alternatives, the only naturally occur- ring local anesthetic is cocaine. In the late 1880s cocaine was in fact


the very first local anesthetic used in dentistry and an improvement on the previous approach: copious amounts of alcohol. People liked it because it acted quickly and didn’t last too long; they also noticed the feeling of euphoria that went with cocaine use and many dentists developed a dependence on the substance. In the early 1900s, procaine/ novocaine was introduced with all the desired benefits of cocaine but with- out its addictive and heart racing side effects. Lidocaine, however, became the dentist's drug of choice when it was made commercially available in the late 1940s.


12 • Early Spring 2015


any people may be suffering in pain needlessly accord- ing to Rowan Hamilton, the


Lidocaine was first synthesized under


the name Xylocaine by Swedish chemist Nils Löfgren in 1943. A major differ- ence between lidocaine and earlier local anesthetics was its stability in water. In practical terms this meant that lido- caine, unlike procaine, did not need to be prepared freshly before each injec- tion. Further, lidocaine was the first amino amide-type local anesthetic; until its discovery local anesthetics were all “esters.” "Amide-type anesthet- ics have a major patient care advantage," Hamilton says. “Ester-type anesthetics are much more likely to cause allergic reaction compared to the amide-type local anesthetic.” In the search for ever-improving


pain relievers though the benefits of lidocaine seem to have been largely forgotten. The medical marketplace for pain treatment since lidocaine’s creation has been dominated by pills delivering non-steroidal anti-inflam- matories (NSAIDs) and opiates. Consumers, however, are increasingly concerned and aware of the dangers and limitations of these drugs. As Hamilton puts it, “All that, is


a long way of saying that lidocaine works very well to locally prevent pain signals not only from travelling to the brain, but from being initiated at all. And it does that without addiction, fewer unwanted side effects and much fewer allergic reactions.”


Humn Pharmaceuticals believes


that new isn’t always better when it comes to pain medication. They have chosen to re-introduce lidocaine to the consumer in a topical cream formula- tion along with other complementary ingredients including menthol. “TPR stands for topical pain relief,” says Hamilton. “As a medicated cream, it goes where it is needed, when it is needed. It is applied on the skin, at the point where pain is felt, that way it doesn’t go through the stomach, or the liver or the kidneys, where many drugs leave a trail of damage.” The American Geriatrics Soci-


ety Panel on the Pharmacological Management of Persistent Pain in Older Persons has also recognized the value of lidocaine. In their 2009 Clin- ical Practice Guideline, they strongly recommended that “all patients with localized neuropathic pain are candi- dates for topical lidocaine.” “I’m very happy to be associated


with Humn Pharmaceuticals,” says Hamilton. “Humn created TPR20 topical lidocaine cream to ensure people have access to this proven, safe and effective pain reliever. Go Humn!”


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