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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Capsaicin Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(kap SAY sin)

U.S. Brand Names

Capzasin-HP® [OTC]; Capzasin-P® [OTC]; DiabetAid Pain and Tingling Relief [OTC]; Qutenza™; Salonpas® Hot [OTC]; Zostrix® Neuropathy [OTC] [DSC]; Zostrix® [OTC]; Zostrix®-HP [OTC]

Canadian Brand Names

Zostrix®; Zostrix® H.P.

Mexican Brand Names


Pharmacologic Category

Analgesic, Topical; Topical Skin Product; Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) Agonist

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to capsaicin or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

How does it work?

• Capsaicin decreases a chemical that causes pain.

How is it best taken?

All forms:

• Do not take this medicine by mouth. For skin only. Keep out of mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).

• Wash hands before and after use.

• Clean affected area before use. Make sure to dry well.

• May wear gloves while applying.

Gel, liquid, or lotion:

• Apply a thin layer to the affected skin and rub in gently.


• This medicine will be given to you by a healthcare provider.

Other patches:

• Apply to most painful areas of skin.

• Apply patch at a similar time of day.

• Apply to clean, dry, healthy skin.

• May leave on for up to 8 hours.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

• Apply a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not apply a double dose or extra doses.

What should I monitor?

• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

• Follow up with healthcare provider.

How should I store this medicine?

• Store at room temperature.

• Protect from heat.


• This medicine will be given to you in a healthcare setting. You will not store it at home.

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

Created: 2006-10-13 11:10:56.0

Modified: 2010-07-01 15:58:34.0

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