Medical Definition of Capsaicin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Capsaicin: Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers that is used to relieve muscle pain, joint pain, and nerve pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy. It is available in topical cream, ointment, stick, pad, gel, liquid, and lotion. It appears to work by reducing a chemical, substance P, found at nerve endings involved in transmitting pain signals to the brain.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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