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How effective is capsaicin?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

There is no solid evidence that the over-the-counter capsaicin creams are effective for chronic neuropathic (nerve) pain. Studies of the prescription capsaicin patch have shown it to provide very effective pain relief, but only to a limited number of people who use it. It also may improve sleep, fatigue, and depression for those who get pain relief from it. Studies included people with nerve pain related to shingles or HIV infection. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.