Capsaicin (On the skin)
Analgesic, Neuropathic Pain Agent (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
Capsaicin is used to help relieve a certain type of pain known as neuralgia (shingles). Capsaicin is also used to help relieve minor pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis or muscle sprains and strains. This medicine will not cure any of these conditions.
Neuralgia is a pain that comes from the nerves near the surface of your skin. This pain may occur after an infection with herpes zoster (shingles or postherpetic neuralgia). Capsaicin will help relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia, but it will not cure the condition.
This medicine is available both over-the-counter (OTC) and with your doctor’s prescription.
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Cream, Thin Sheet, Gel/Jelly, Liquid, Lotion, Ointment, Pad, Patch, Stick
Cream, lotion, ointment, gel, or liquid:Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine. If you are using capsaicin for arthritis in your hands, do not wash your hands for at least 30 minutes after you apply it. Do not touch sensitive areas such as your eyes or mouth while the medicine is on your hands. Shake the lotion bottle well before use. Apply a small amount of the cream, lotion, ointment, gel, or liquid medicine over the affected area. Rub it in until you cannot see any medicine on your skin. You may feel burning or stinging each time you rub in the medicine. This may last for 2 to 4 weeks. Continue to use full doses. The burning sensation will not improve or go away if you reduce the number of doses you use each day. If a bandage is being used on the treated area, do not wrap it tightly.
Qutenza™ patch:A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. Use the patch as directed. Do not touch the patch while it is on your skin.
Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Talk to your doctor before you use any other skin medicine on the same area where you are using capsaicin.
When Not To Use
This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to capsaicin.
Do not use the medicine on open wounds, sores, scrapes, or irritated skin.
This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments. Your blood pressure will be measured while the patch is on your skin and after it has been removed. If you check your blood pressure at home and notice any changes, call your doctor right away.
You may need to use the medicine for 2 weeks or more before it relieves your pain. Keep using the medicine every day. If the medicine has not helped after a month, or if your pain becomes worse after a week, talk with your doctor.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
Burning or stinging sensation
Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
Severe skin irritation, pain, redness, or swelling
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
Skin itching or dryness
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
Arthricare For Women, Axsain, Capsagel, Capsagesic-HP Arthritis Relief, Capsin, Castiva Arthritis Pain Relief, DermaSilkRx Anodynexa Pak, DermaSilkRx Diclo Pak, DermacinRx Inflammatral Pak, DermacinRx Lexitral PharmaPak, Double Cap, Icy Hot Arthritis Therapy, Inflammacin, Pain Enz, Qutenza, Rid-A-Pain, Rid-A-Pain-HP, Rite Aid Arthritis Pain Relief, Sportsmed, Theragen, Therapatch Warm, Trixaicin, Zostrix
There may be other brand names for this medicine.