What is this medicine?
CAPSAICIN (cap SAY sin) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat pain in muscles or joints.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Arthricare for Women, Capzasin-HP, Capzasin-P, Castiva Warming, Zostrix
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- broken or irritated skin
- an unusual or allergic reaction to capsaicin, hot peppers, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Use this medicine on the skin. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the package or prescription label. Rub into painful area until there is little or no visible medicine left on the skin surface. Wash hands with soap and water after applying. If you are using this medicine for pain in the hands, do not wash your hands for at least 30 minutes after using this medicine. After using this medicine do not use a bandage, a heating pad, or expose the affected area to direct sun. Use your medicine at regular intervals. Do not use your medicine more often than directed.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products on the affected area without asking your doctor or health care professional.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- burning pain, redness that does not go away
- skin sores or thinning
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- mild stinging or warmth where used
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of young children.
Store at room temperature, between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy