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Capsaicin 8% Patch

Overdose Information

At this time, no overdoses with this medication have been reported. It is unclear what exactly to expect from an overdose.
(Click Qutenza Overdose for more information.)

How Does Capsaicin 8% Patch Work?

Capsaicin 8% patch contains capsaicin, a chemical naturally found in peppers. When applied to the skin, capsaicin initially binds to and stimulates a certain receptor known as the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptor (TRPV1). This causes a sensation of burning and pain. This is followed by pain relief that can last for several weeks.
It is thought that the pain relief is caused by a decrease in nerve endings that contain TRPV1. As the nerve endings gradually regrow, pain will gradually return.

Clinical Effects of Capsaicin 8% Patch

This medication has been thoroughly evaluated in clinical studies. These studies compared capsaicin 8% patch to a low-dose capsaicin patch (such as those available without a prescription). These studies demonstrated that capsaicin 8% patch was significantly more effective than the low-dose patches for relieving postherpetic neuralgia pain for at least 12 weeks.

When and How to Use It

Some general considerations include the following:
  • Capsaicin 8% patch is usually applied to the skin for 60 minutes. The application may be repeated every 12 weeks.
  • Do not apply a capsaicin 8% patch by yourself. Your healthcare provider should apply it in a healthcare facility.
  • A numbing cream should be applied to the skin to help prevent pain caused by the patch. The numbing cream should be removed before applying the patch.
  • Your healthcare provider may cut the patch to an appropriate size and shape.
  • Even with numbing cream, you may experience significant pain or discomfort during the procedure. Ice packs and/or pain medications may be necessary to help relieve the pain.
  • Your healthcare provider should use nitrile gloves (not latex) when applying the patch.
  • After 60 minutes, the patch should be removed, and the skin should be cleansed with a special cleaning gel that comes with the patch.
  • The treated area may be sensitive to heat (such as showers, sunlight, or vigorous exercise) for a few days.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
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Capsaicin Patch Information

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