Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers that makes them hot. Capsaicin is used in medicated creams and lotions to relieve muscle or joint pain. Capsaicin used on the body causes a sensation of heat that activates certain nerve cells. With regular use of capsaicin, this heating effect reduces the amount of substance P, a chemical that acts as a pain messenger in the body. Capsaicin topical is used for temporary relief of muscle or joint pain caused by strains, sprains, arthritis, bruising, or backaches. Capsaicin topical is also used to treat nerve pain (neuralgia) in people who have had herpes zoster, or "shingles." Capsaicin topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Qutenza, or capsaicin, is a prescription drug that is in the miscellaneous topical agent drug class. Qutenza is a topical patch that is applied to the skin for an hour at a time in order to treat pain in the area. Capsaicin is the chemical that is contained within chili peppers that gives these vegetables their heat. This chemical is harnessed for its pain-alleviating properties. Qutenza is not a narcotic; it is a locally acting drug. This means that drowsiness is minimal, and there will not be extreme drug interactions between Qutenza and other drugs in your system.