Generic Name: capsaicin topical (kap SAY sin TOP i kal)
Brand Name: 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, Qutenza, Salonpas Gel-Patch, Salonpas Pain Patch with Capsaicin, Sloan's Liniment, Trixaicin, Zostrix
Medically reviewed on April 19, 2017
What is Castiva Warming?
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.
Castiva Warming is used for temporary relief of muscle or joint pain caused by strains, sprains, arthritis, bruising, or backaches. This medicine is also used to treat nerve pain (neuralgia) in people who have had herpes zoster, or "shingles."
Castiva Warming may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Castiva Warming if you are allergic to chili peppers, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Castiva Warming.
Capsaicin can cause a burning sensation wherever it is applied. If you have significant discomfort or skin redness, wash the treated skin area with soap and cool water.
Get medical attention right away if you have severe burning, pain, swelling, or blistering of the skin where you applied this medication.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to chili peppers, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Castiva Warming.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using Castiva Warming if you have any allergies (especially to plants), or if you have a serious medical condition.
It is not known whether Castiva Warming will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether capsaicin topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not apply capsaicin topical to your breast area 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.
How should I use Castiva Warming?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin.
Do not use Castiva Warming on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin. If this medicine gets in your eyes, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina, rinse with water.
Make sure your skin is clean and dry before you apply Castiva Warming.
When using the cream or lotion, apply a thin layer to the affected area and rub in gently until completely absorbed.
To use the 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.
Castiva Warming may be used up to 4 times daily or as directed on the medicine label.
To apply a Castiva Warming skin 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 Castiva Warming or handling the skin 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.
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.
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.
If the burning sensation is painful or causes significant discomfort, wash the treated skin area with soap and cool water. Get medical attention right away if you have severe burning, pain, swelling, or blistering.
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 to your skin. Also avoid swimming or vigorous exercise. Warm water or perspiration can increase the burning sensation caused by capsaicin.
Avoid getting Castiva Warming in your 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.
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 Castiva Warming at room temperature away from moisture and heat, in a place where children and pets cannot get to it.
Castiva Warming liquid is flammable. Do not use or store near fire or open flame.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled 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 Castiva Warming will not cause harm but may make the medication less effective reducing substance P and relieving your pain.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222, especially if anyone has accidentally swallowed it.
Applying too much Castiva Warming to the skin can cause severe burning or redness.
What should I avoid while using Castiva Warming?
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.
Castiva Warming side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Wash the skin and get medical attention right away if you have severe burning, pain, swelling, or blistering of the skin where you applied this medication.
Stop using Castiva Warming and call your doctor at once if you have:
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Castiva Warming?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied capsaicin. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01.
More about Castiva Warming (capsaicin topical)
- Castiva Warming Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents