Capsaicin for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain

“Capsaicin treatment illustrates a dynamic improvement without affecting the large nervous system. Different concentrations of capsaicin patches individually or combined with other drugs can be a very useful addition in the treatment options for neuropathic pain patients” [1]

Neuropathic pain can be described as a disabling, prevailing condition, which has various underlying causes. Moreover, it is regarded as hard to treat. Systemic drug treatment is frequently limited in its effectiveness; and when medics try to administer the necessary dose, adverse side effects can make this impossible.

A Promising Alternative

Scientific research indicates that: “analgesics that can be applied topically [that is to say, applied directly to a part of the body], have the potential to largely overcome the aforementioned problem” [1]. Moreover, they could be a great advantage in localised neuropathic pain syndromes, including:
small fiber neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia. And this is where Capsaicin comes in.

So What is Capsaicin?

This product, which has been used as a topical cream for a substantial period of time, is the result of a pungent component of chili peppers, which works as a natural ligand of the transient receptor potential vanilloid channel [1].

The Research

An overall study, which was published in the medical journal, Pain Therapy, indicates that: “capsaicin might be a tolerable and effective treatment for various types of neuropathic pain, including both diabetic and non-diabetic conditions. High-density capsaicin patches,
such as 179 mg (8%) cutaneous patches, provide distinct benefits compared to the conventional drugs with prolonged and systemic effects” [1]. Moreover, in the case of naturopathic pain, capsaicin patches serve as an affordable treatment for patients.

Booking an Appointment With a Pain Specialist

Unlike other types of patches which are readily available over the counter, capsaicin patches should only be administered by a medic. This is to adhere to important safeguarding practices and avoid any dangerous allergic reactions. Moreover a Pain Specialist is extremely well versed in this field of medicine, and will be able to ascertain the concentration of capsaicin patches you require; as well as whether or not this form of patch treatment should be combined with pharmaceuticals.

When it comes to your first appointment (be it by video or in person), your pain Specialist will review your medical history, and ask you various questions pertaining to your condition. To that end, it is a good idea to keep a daily pain dairy.


[1]. Üçeyler, N., Sommer, C. High-Dose Capsaicin for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain: What We Know and What We Need to Know. Pain Ther 3, 73–84 (2014).
High-Dose Capsaicin for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain: What We Know and What We Need to Know | SpringerLink