Capsaicin

Pronounced

"kap-SAY-iss-in"

Common brand names:

Zostrix

Uses

This medication is used to treat minor aches and pains of the muscles/joints (e.g., arthritis, backache, sprains). Capsaicin works by decreasing a certain natural substance in your body (substance P) that helps pass pain signals to the brain.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used for nerve pain.

How to Use This Medication

Use this medication on the skin only. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

For the cream, gel, and lotion forms, apply a thin layer of medication to the affected area and rub in gently and thoroughly. You may want to use a cotton ball/swab or latex glove to apply the medication to avoid touching the medication with your hands.

Do not apply the medication in the eyes, mouth, nostrils, or genitals. If you do get the medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water. Also, do not apply this medication to skin that is injured or irritated (e.g., cut, scraped, sunburned).

Do not apply this medication immediately before or after activities such as bathing, swimming, sun bathing, or heavy exercise. Do not bandage or wrap the affected area or use a heating pad on that area. Doing so may increase the risk of side effects.

After applying the medication, wash your hands unless you are using this medication to treat the hands. If treating the hands, wait at least 30 minutes after applying the medication to wash your hands.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.

This medication may sometimes take up to 2 months to work. Tell your doctor if your condition persists for more than 7 days, if it worsens, or if it keeps returning. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.

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Information expires December 2018.