IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
CAPSAICIN – TOPICAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Capsagel, Salonpas-Hot, 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 medication may also be used to treat nerve pain.
HOW TO USE: 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.
SIDE EFFECTS: Warmth, stinging, or burning on the application site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, or throat irritation may occur if you breathe in the dried residue from the medication. Use caution to avoid inhaling the residue.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: blistering/swelling at the application site, increased/unusual pain at the application site.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US –
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before using capsaicin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to zucapsaicin; or to hot peppers (from the Capsicum family); or to lidocaine or other local anesthetics that may be in your brand; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: injured/irritated skin in the affected area.
If you are going to have an MRI test, tell testing personnel if you are using the patch. Some patches may contain metals that can cause serious burns during an MRI. Ask your doctor whether you will need to remove your patch before the test and apply a new patch afterward, and how to do so properly.
During pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this product passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.
Before using capsaicin products containing lidocaine or other local anesthetics, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take class I antiarrhythmic drugs (such as mexiletine, quinidine).
Capsaicin is very similar to zucapsaicin. Do not use medications containing zucapsaicin while using capsaicin.
OVERDOSE: This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Refer to storage information printed on the package. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Keep all drug products away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.