Capsaicin, the active ingredient in this common pepper, has anti- inflammatory properties. An FDA-approved cream using capsaicin is marketed under the name of Zostrix. Capsaicin is used for pain control in a variety of conditions, such as shingles, arthritis, and nerve pain such as pain from diabetic neuropathy.
Attention for Liver Disease: May lower liver enzymes.
Safety Information: May cause intense burning if the eyes are exposed to capsicum. Other side effects include the usual reactions to hot peppers – mouth and nose burning, sweating, gastrointestinal complaints, etc. May cause a rash. The safety for children, pregnant and nursing mothers is not established.
Interactions: May interact with acetaminophen, sedatives, ACE inhibitors, MAO inhibitors, theophylline, and anti-hypertensive medications.
Lab Notes: May alter liver function tests.
Note: Capsicum is used internally and topically.