Capsaicin is used to help relieve a certain type of pain known as neuralgia (shingles). Capsaicin is also used to help relieve minor pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis or muscle sprains and strains. This medicine will not cure any of these conditions.

Neuralgia is a pain that comes from the nerves near the surface of your skin. This pain may occur after an infection with herpes zoster (shingles or postherpetic neuralgia). Capsaicin will help relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia, but it will not cure the condition.

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  • Severity: Major
    You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking capsaicin topical:

    More common - all forms
    Burning, itching, dryness, pain, redness, swelling, or soreness at the application site
    Less common - all forms
    Cough
    cough-producing mucus
    difficulty with breathing
    shortness of breath or troubled breathing
    sore throat
    stuffy or runny nose
    tightness in the chest or wheezing
    Less common - patch only
    Blurred vision
    dizziness
    headache
    nervousness
    pounding in the ears
    slow or fast heartbeat
    Incidence not known - patch only
    Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
    increased sensitivity to pain
    increased sensitivity to touch
    rapid weight gain
    tingling in the hands and feet
    unsteadiness or awkwardness
    unusual weight gain or loss
    weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
    Severity: Minor
    Some of the side effects that can occur with capsaicin topical may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

    Less common - patch only
    Fever
    muscle aches
    nausea
    pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
    unusual tiredness or weakness
    vomiting
    Incidence not known - patch only
    Abnormal skin color
    change in taste
    loss of taste
  • (topical cream, topical lotion, topical liquid, topical film, compounding powder, topical kit, topical stick)