The Safety of Capsaicin

Capsaicin -- the chemical responsible for a chili pepper's spicy kick -- has also been used as a conventional medicine for 1000's of years. This material causes irritation and stinging of mucous membranes but may be effective in reducing certain types of pain. Although capsaicin is usually nicely tolerated, there are possible side results to be conscious of when considering the security of this compound.

Allergic and Pores and skin Reactions

Topical capsaicin has been proven to be effective in treating particular kinds of discomfort by decreasing the quantity of certain messenger chemicals that deliver discomfort indicators to the brain. Shingles, osteoarthritis, psoriasis and low back again pain have been treated with capsaicin patches (Qutenza), creams, gels, lotions and ointments. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are easily available. These medicines have potential side results and adverse reactions.
Because an allergic response is feasible with any medication, view for respiration issues, hives or a spreading rash. Nonallergic pores and skin reactions -- this kind of as a stinging sensation, itching and redness -- at the website of application are typical but generally go away following recurring use more than two to four months. When using topical capsaicin, your skin might be much more delicate to heat, sunlight, and hot showers or baths. Sweating or humid climate might increase the burning feeling.
Do not use capsaiscin on open up wounds, cracked skin or close to mucous membranes, this kind of as the nose, eyes or genitals. You may need to put on disposable gloves when applying the medicine to prevent it from spreading to mucous membranes and causing unpleasant burning.

Oral Capsaicin

Pills of capsaicin or ground cayenne pepper are available as more than-the-counter dietary dietary supplements. Taking a higher dose of cayenne may lead to stomach irritation, upset or heartburn. Diarrhea is an additional possible aspect impact of oral capsaicin. Sweating, skin flushing and a runny nose might happen following using dietary supplements that contains capsaicin. Cayenne and capsaicin pass into breast milk, so nursing mothers should avoid cayenne supplements.

Drug Interactions

One of the much more serious security hazards of capsaicin therapy is the potential for drug interactions. Capsaicin might increase the absorption of some medicines, this kind of as the asthma medication theophylline. ACE inhibitors -- a group of blood pressure medicines, including captopril (Capoten), elaropril (Vasotec) and lisinopril (Zestril) -- may also be impacted by capsaicin.
Blood thinners, like warfarin, might become more powerful in mixture with capsaicin, increasing the risk for bruising and bleeding. Capsaicin might cause a drop in blood sugar, and diabetic issues medications, like insulin, metformin and other people, might require to be adjusted.


Capsaicin is a potent medication, whether or not it is utilized as an more than-the-counter cream, a prescription patch or a dietary complement. Speak with your doctor before starting use of capsaicin or any other medication or supplement to be sure it is secure for you, particularly if you have current well being conditions or regularly consider prescription medication.