Generic Name: capsaicin (kap-SAY-sin)
Brand Name: Examples include Castiva Warming and GNP Capsaicin
Capsaicin lotion is used for:
Temporary relief of muscle and joint pain associated with arthritis, simple backaches, sprains, strains, and bruises. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Capsaicin lotion is a topical analgesic. Exactly how it works is unknown, but it is thought to decrease the amount of a certain substance (substance P) that transmits pain in the body.
Do NOT use capsaicin lotion if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in capsaicin lotion
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using capsaicin lotion:
Some medical conditions may interact with capsaicin lotion. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have an open wound or damaged, broken, or irritated skin
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with capsaicin lotion. Because little, if any, of capsaicin lotion is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.
Ask your health care provider if capsaicin lotion may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use capsaicin lotion:
Use capsaicin lotion as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with capsaicin lotion. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Apply just enough medicine to cover the affected area. Gently massage the medicine into skin until it disappears.
- Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after using capsaicin lotion unless your hands are part of the treated area.
- If you are using capsaicin lotion on your hands, allow 30 minutes for the medicine to absorb before washing. During this time, avoid touching damaged or irritated skin, contact lenses, or your eyes, nose, mouth, or other mucous membranes. Wash hands after 30 minutes.
- Do not apply to wounds or damaged, broken (open), or irritated skin.
- Do not bandage or wrap the affected area.
- Do not use capsaicin lotion with a heating pad.
- Do not expose the treated area to heat or direct sunlight. Warm or hot water or sunlight may increase the likelihood of burning or itching. Do not use capsaicin lotion immediately after bathing, swimming, using a hot tub, sunbathing, or exposure to heat.
- If you miss a dose of capsaicin lotion, use it as soon as you remember. Continue to use it as directed by your doctor or on the package label.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use capsaicin lotion.
Important safety information:
- For external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. If capsaicin lotion gets into your eyes, rinse immediately with cool water.
- Do not take more than the recommended dose, use for longer than prescribed, or use large amounts of capsaicin lotion without checking with your doctor.
- Do not inhale any residue from capsaicin lotion after it has dried. Coughing, sneezing, or throat or respiratory irritation may occur.
- Capsaicin lotion may be harmful if swallowed. If you may have taken capsaicin lotion by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
- If condition worsens, or if symptoms persists for more than 7 days or clear up and occur again within a few days, stop use of this product and contact your health care provider.
- If redness is present or if irritation develops, check with your doctor before using any more of capsaicin lotion.
- If severe burning or itching occurs, remove product by thoroughly washing the area with soap and cold water.
- Capsaicin lotion should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old without checking with the child's doctor; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using capsaicin lotion while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use capsaicin lotion, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of capsaicin lotion:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Temporary burning or stinging at the application site that usually disappears in a few days.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); difficulty breathing or swallowing; irritation, redness, blistering, or severe or persistent burning at the application site.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Capsaicin lotion may be harmful if swallowed.Proper storage of capsaicin lotion:
Store capsaicin lotion at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Close cap tightly after use. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep capsaicin lotion out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about capsaicin lotion, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Capsaicin lotion is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take capsaicin lotion or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about capsaicin lotion. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to capsaicin lotion. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using capsaicin lotion.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about capsaicin topical
- Capsaicin cream
- Capsaicin in lidocaine cream
- Capsaicin liquid
- Capsaicin patch
- Capsaicin topical
- Capsaicin Topical (Advanced Reading)