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Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Capsaicin


Topical cream containing 0.025% Capsaicin

Drugs List

  • capsaicin 0.025% cream
  • ZACIN 0.025% cream
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis


    The applications (a small pea sized amount) should be evenly spaced throughout the waking hours 4 times a day and not more than every 4 hours. The cream should be gently rubbed in with no residue left on the surface. Hands should be washed immediately after application unless they are the area being treated.

    Pain relief usually begins within the first week of treatment and increases with continuing regular application for the next 2 to 8 weeks.


    Apply small amounts to the affected area four times daily, and not more often than every 4 hours.


    Children under 18 years

    Precautions and Warnings


    Contains benzyl alcohol
    Contains cetyl alcohol - may cause local skin reactions
    Advise patient to wash hands after use
    Avoid application before or after a bath or shower
    Avoid broken or inflamed skin
    Avoid contact with eyes
    May cause transient burning particularly if applied more than 4 times a day
    Tight bandages should not be used
    Advise patient residue on clothing/bedding may cause fire hazard
    Advise patient to consult physician if condition worsens / does not improve
    Avoid inhalation of vapours from the product
    Fire hazard: Keep away from naked flames and potential sources of ignition

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Capsaicin cream is considered safe for use during pregnancy.

    Although the manufacturer states that safety during pregnancy is not established, given the small amount absorbed following topical administration, it is unlikely that capsaicin will cause any adverse effects.


    Use capsaicin cream with caution during breastfeeding.

    The manufacturer advises caution if capsaicin cream is used when breastfeeding. The safety of capsaicin cream during lactation has not been established. However, it is unlikely that capsaicin will cause any adverse effects in humans.

    Capsaicin cream should not be applied to the breast or other areas where there may be direct contact with the infant's skin as this may cause severe pain to the infant.

    Side Effects

    Exacerbation of pre-existing asthma
    Eye irritation
    Mucosal irritation
    Nasal irritation
    Skin irritation
    Throat irritation
    Transient burning


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Reference Sources

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Zacin Cream 0.025%. Cephalon Limited. Revised November 2020.

    US National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed).
    Available at:
    Capsaicin. Last revised: 17 May 2021
    Last accessed: 26 July 2021

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