Dosing & Uses
Dosage Forms & Strengths
Analgesia for Minor Muscle/Joint Pain
Apply topically to affected area TID/QID for 3-4 consecutive weeks and evaluate efficacy; not to exceed 4 applications/day
Wash hands and avoid touching eyes after applying
Apply patch to affected area
Safety and efficacy not established
Frequency Not Defined
Capsaicin causes transient increased pain at application site (substance P release)
Stinging/burning/tingling sensation of skin
Topical use only
Avoid eyes and mucous membranes
Do not apply to face or scalp
Do not apply to broken skin
Treated area may be sensitive to heat for several days (eg, hot water, direct sunlight, vigorous exercise)
Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnancy Category: C
Lactation: Unknown whether distributed in breast milk; do not apply to nipple or areola
Pregnant or breastfeeding patients should seek advice of healthcare professional before using OTC drugs
A:Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.
B:May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.
C:Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.
D:Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk.
X:Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist.
NA:Information not available.
Mechanism of Action
Capsaicin: Transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) agonist; topical application causes initial TRPV1 stimulation that may cause transient pain, followed by pain relief by reduction in TRPV1-expressing nociceptive nerve endings
Menthol: Local anesthesia