Capsaicin Cream (Zacin 0.025% or Axsain 0.075%)

  • Reference Number: HEY-887/2017
  • Departments: Pain Medicine, Pharmacy


This leaflet is a summary of some information, which may be of help to you.  Always check with the manufacturer’s information leaflet given with your medicine, which has more information.

 This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your treatment.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.hat is a Capsaicin cream and what is it used for?

What is Capsaicin and what is it used for?

Following discussion with your doctor, he has advised the use of Capsaicin cream which is licensed for use in osteoarthritis (0.025%) or pain from shingles (0.075%). It can also be used to treat other types of neuropathic pain.

This cream is prepared from an extract of peppers, so one of the side effects is a warm or burning type sensation when applied to skin and may cause a rash.  Capsaicin cream may reduce your level of pain and allow you to increase activity.

Instructions for use:

  1. Apply a pea sized amount of Capsaicin cream to the painful area and gently rub it in, so it is no longer visible. This avoids any excess being left on the skin which can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat or breathing difficulties in some people.
  1. Avoid contact with eyes, mouth, nose or genitals
  1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the Capsaicin cream (or use gloves to apply)
  1. The Capsaicin cream should be used regularly four times daily (with a gap of at least four hours between each application)
  1. Do not use Capsaicin on cut, raw, broken or irritated areas of the skin
  1. Do not use tight bandages on top of the cream
  1. If the cream causes a very hot or unpleasant sensation discontinue treatment
  1. Avoid additional heat in the area where the cream is used e.g. do not use hot water bottles, hot baths or showers.

What happens afterwards?

The cream should be discontinued if:

  • The Capsaicin cream has been used four times daily for two weeks with no reduction in pain (maximum pain relief can take up to four weeks)
  • You develop a skin reaction e.g. a rash.

You will receive a telephone review appointment with a specialist nurse.  Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet please contact:

Pain Clinic, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Outpatients Department, East Riding Community Hospital, Hull and East Yorkshire, Beverley, Tel: (01482) 478868 / 336440

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.