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Terms Of Use


Brand Name(s) : Axsain, Zacin
Side Effects


Capsaicin should be used with caution:

  • under tight bandages
  • if taking a hot shower or bath just before or after applying capsaicin, as it may enhance the burning sensation
  • to avoid inhalation of vapours from the cream, as this can cause irritation of the eyes and breathing difficulties (including making asthma worse)
  • to avoid contact with eyes, and inflamed or broken skin.
  • poorly controlled high blood pressure or recent heart problems (patches)

It should not be used:

  • on broken or irritated skin
  • if the user has a known hypersensitivity to capsaicin or any of the ingredients used in this product
  • by children.

Also see list of precautions and interactions


Store below 25°C.


What is it used for?

  • Capsaicin is used to numb the skin.
  • It is a topical pain reliever.
  • It is used to relief pain at the site where it is applied.
  • In general this drug is used as a local pain reliever in several conditions.

Listed below are the typical uses of capsaicin.

  • For pain relief in osteoarthritis.
  • To relieve pain arising from nerves near the surface of the skin eg with and following Herpes Zoster infections (shingles) after open skin wounds have healed.
  • To relieve pain in patients who have had nerve damage to their feet or hands caused by diabetes (diabetic peripheral polyneuropathy).

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.


How often do I take it?

  • Apply the cream to the affected area, 3 to 4 times a day, as directed by your doctor, with a gap of at least 4 hours between applications. Apply a small amount of cream (pea size) to the affected area and rub in gently until it is no longer visible. Wash hands immediately after use, unless your hands are being treated.
  • Patches are used to relieve pain in people who are not diabetic and should only be used under medical supervision.
  • Use this medication for the duration of the prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take up to a month before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Capsaicin does not affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.


Brief burning sensation, particularly if too much cream is used, or if it is used less than 3 to 4 times a day, brief irritation to eyes, nose and throat causing runny nose, cough, sneezing, breathlessness or worsening of asthma, local skin reactions, including contact dermatitis.

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • no specific major side effects known, see also symptoms of a serious allergic reaction below.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because 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.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), 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.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking capsaicin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other topical pain-killer; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • broken or irritated skin,
  • known hypersensitivity to capsaicin or any of the ingredients used in this product.
  • It is not suitable for children.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol intake is not known to affect capsaicin.

The elderly: capsaicin can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


The safety of capsaicin has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


It is not known whether capsaicin passes into breast milk. The manufacturer therefore states that it should not be taken if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • none known

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use.

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using capsaicin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.


Do not swallow capsaicin cream.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally swallowed capsaicin, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 11. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you miss a dose, take 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.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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