Generic Name: capsaicin topical (kap SAY sin TOP i kal)Brand Names: Axsain, Capsicum Oleoresin, Capsin, Capzasin Back and Body, Capzasin-HP, Capzasin-P, Castiva Warming, Icy Hot PM, Icy Hot with Capsaicin, Menthac Arthritis Cream with Capsaicin, Salonpas Gel-Patch, Salonpas Pain Patch with Capsaicin, Sloan's Liniment, Trixaicin, Trixaicin HP, Zostrix, Zostrix Sports, Zostrix-HP
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers that makes them hot. Capsaicin is used in medicated creams and lotions to relieve muscle or joint pain.
Capsaicin used on the body causes a sensation of heat that activates certain nerve cells. With regular use of capsaicin, this heating effect reduces the amount of substance P, a chemical that acts as a pain messenger in the body.
Capsaicin topical is used for temporary relief of muscle or joint pain caused by strains, sprains, arthritis, bruising, or backaches. Capsaicin topical is also used to treat nerve pain (neuralgia) in people who have had herpes zoster, or "shingles."
Capsaicin topical may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using capsaicin topical if you have any allergies or serious medical conditions. Do not use this medication on anyone younger than 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.
Capsaicin can cause a burning sensation, which is usually mild and should lessen over time with continued use. If the burning sensation causes significant discomfort, wash the treated skin area with soap and cool water. Stop using the medication and call your doctor if you have severe burning or redness where the medicine was applied.Avoid getting capsaicin topical in your mouth or eyes or near your nose.
Do not apply to open wounds or irritated skin, and avoid getting the medicine on contact lenses, dentures, and other items that come into contact with sensitive areas of your body.Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if anyone has accidentally swallowed it. Accidental swallowing of capsaicin can cause problems with swallowing or breathing.
It may take up to 2 weeks of using this medicine regularly before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed.Call your doctor if your pain does not improve after using this medication for 7 days, or if your symptoms get worse or get better and then come back in a few days.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using capsaicin topical if you have any allergies (especially to plants), or if you have a serious medical condition.It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use capsaicin topical without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether capsaicin topical passes into breast milk. Do not use capsaicin topical without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not use this medication on anyone younger than 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.
Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.
Capsaicin can cause a burning sensation wherever it is applied. This sensation is usually mild and should gradually lessen over time with continued regular use of the medicine.Do not apply capsaicin topical to open wounds, or to skin that is sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or otherwise irritated. Do not get this medication in your mouth or eyes, or near your nose where you might inhale it. If it does get into any of these areas, rinse thoroughly with water.
Also avoid getting this medication on contact lenses, dentures, and other items that come into contact with sensitive areas of your body.
To keep the medication from getting on your fingers when you apply it, you may use a rubber glove, finger cot, cotton ball, or clean tissue to apply the medicine.
Make sure your skin is clean and dry before you apply capsaicin topical.
When using capsaicin topical cream or lotion, apply a thin layer to the affected area and rub in gently until completely absorbed.
To use capsaicin topical liquid or stick, uncap the applicator and press it firmly on your skin to apply the medication. Massage gently onto the affected are until completely absorbed.
Capsaicin topical may be used up to 4 times daily or as directed on the medicine label.
To apply a capsaicin topical patch, remove the liner and apply the patch to your skin over the area of pain. Press the edges firmly into place. Remove the patch and apply a new patch 1 or 2 times daily if needed.Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after applying capsaicin topical or handling the topical patch. If you have applied the medicine to your hands or fingers to treat pain in those areas, wait at least 30 minutes before washing your hands. Do not cover treated skin with a bandage or heating pad, which can increase the burning sensation. You may cover the skin with clothing.
Avoid taking a bath or shower within 1 hour before or after you apply capsaicin topical to your skin. Also avoid swimming or vigorous exercise. Warm water or perspiration can increase the burning sensation caused by capsaicin.
If the burning sensation caused by capsaicin is painful or causes significant discomfort, wash the treated skin area with soap and cool water.
It may take up to 2 weeks of using this medicine regularly before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Pain relief should occur gradually as the substance P in your body is decreased in the nerve cells.Call your doctor if your pain does not improve after using this medication for 7 days, or if your symptoms get worse or get better and then come back in a few days. Store capsaicin topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat, in a place where children and pets cannot get to it.
Capsaicin topical liquid is flammable. Do not use or store near fire or open flame.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not apply capsaicin more than 4 times in one day, or use extra medicine to make up a missed dose .
A missed dose of capsaicin topical will not cause harm but may make the medication less effective reducing substance P and relieving your pain.
Accidental swallowing of capsaicin can cause severe burning in or around the mouth, watery eyes, runny nose, and trouble swallowing or breathing.
Applying too much capsaicin topical to the skin can cause severe burning or redness.
Avoid inhaling the odor or dried residue of capsaicin topical. Inhaling capsaicin can cause coughing, sneezing, or watery eyes, and can irritate your throat or lungs.
Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, nose, genitals, or rectum until the medication has been washed off your hands. Also avoid handling food while the medication is still on your hands.Avoid exposing treated skin to sunlight, sunlamps, tanning beds, or a hot tub. Capsaicin can cause a burning sensation that may be made worse by heat.
Do not use other medicated skin products, including muscle pain creams or lotions, on areas where you have applied capsaicin, unless your doctor has told you to.
severe burning or irritation where the medicine was applied;
skin redness where the medicine was applied; or
trouble breathing or swallowing (after accidental inhalation of capsaicin odor or dried residue).
Less serious side effects may include a mild burning sensation that can last for several hours or days, especially after your first use of capsaicin topical.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied capsaicin topical. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.