This medication is prescribed for the relief of minor muscle and joint discomfort, such as arthritis, back pain, and sprains. Capsaicin functions by reducing the levels of a specific natural substance in your body, known as substance P, which plays a role in transmitting pain signals to the brain.
Uses and Dosage
Apply this medication exclusively to the skin. Adhere to all the instructions provided in the product packaging. If you have any uncertainties, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
For cream, gel, and lotion variants, spread a thin layer of the medication over the affected area and gently and thoroughly massage it in. To avoid direct contact with the medication, you may opt to use a cotton ball, swab, or latex glove for application.
Avoid applying the medication to the eyes, mouth, nostrils, or genital area. If accidental contact occurs in any of these areas, rinse thoroughly with plenty of water. Furthermore, refrain from applying this medication to injured or irritated skin, such as cuts, scrapes, or sunburn.
Do not apply this medication immediately before or after activities such as bathing, swimming, sunbathing, or intense exercise. Do not wrap or bandage the treated area, and avoid using a heating pad on that spot, as these actions may heighten the risk of side effects.
After applying the medication, remember to wash your hands unless you are using it to treat your hands. If treating the hands, wait at least 30 minutes after application before washing your hands.
To derive the maximum benefit from this medication, use it consistently at the same times each day. This will help you remember your dosing schedule.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- body aches or pain
- chest tightness
- difficulty with breathing
- dry or productive cough
- ear congestion
- loss of voice
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- blurred vision
- breakdown of the skin
- pain in the arms or legs
- pounding in the ears
- slow or fast heartbeat
Prior to using capsaicin, inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, whether it’s related to capsaicin, zucapsaicin, hot peppers, lidocaine, or other local anesthetics that might be present in the product you’re using. Allergic reactions or other complications could be triggered by inactive ingredients in the product.
If you are scheduled for an MRI test, inform the testing staff if you are currently using the patch. Certain patches may contain metals that could lead to severe burns during an MRI. Consult your doctor to determine whether it is necessary to remove the patch before the test and how to properly apply a new patch afterward.
During pregnancy, this product should only be used when it is absolutely essential. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.
It remains uncertain whether this product is excreted into breast milk. Seek advice from your doctor prior to breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Zostrix is available in the following forms and strengths:
How long does it take for Zostrix to work?
You should begin to get pain relief within the first two weeks of treatment, but the maximum effect may take a month to build up as Zostrix cream works gradually.
Why does Zostrix burn?
Capsaicin can cause a burning sensation wherever it is applied, it contains the same chemical as peppers.