What to Know About Trixaicin (Capsaicin)

Over-the-Counter Topical Pain Reliever

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Trixaicin (capsaicin), is a topical cream, ointment, or gel that is used relieve minor pain in muscles and joints caused by arthritis, backaches, muscle strains, bruises, cramps, and sprains. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in Trixaicin, is derived from chile peppers.

Chile or chile pepper plants are categorized under the genus Capsicum, belonging to a dicotyledonous group of flowering plants. Chilis have widely been regarded for their therapeutic properties and have been used for pain relief for centuries.

Trixaicin offers temporary pain relief but does not cure the underlying cause of pain. It's important to speak to your healthcare provider regarding your condition to find additional pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments.

Ointment on the hands of an elderly person. Applying the ointment and emollient cream in the treatment and hydration of the skin . Problem skin in old age - stock photo

Marina Vol / Getty Images


Trixaicin is an over-the-counter (OTC) topical cream used to temporarily relieve minor aches and pains. It is considered a complementary therapy because it does not heal the underlying cause of pain. It can be used for pain associated with:

The active ingredient, capsaicin, works by affecting sensory neurons with unmyelinated C-fibers, which participate in the transmission of pain to the central nervous system. As a result of a cascade effect, there is decreased activity in these nerve cells and a reduced sense of pain.

Before Taking

It’s important to discuss with your medical provider all allergies to medications prior to taking a trixaicin. Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to trixaicin or chile peppers. Other precautions and contraindications include:

  • Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients in Trixaicin to confirm allergies.
  • Tell your healthcare provider and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
  • Discuss with your healthcare provider if you are taking any of the following medications: transdermal patches such as diclofenac, nicotine, rivastigmine, rotigotine, or other topical medications for pain.
  • Topical capsaicin may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Avoid prolonged periods of sun exposure. Apply generous amounts of sunscreen when outdoors.
  • Trixaicin may cause burning at the application site that generally disappears after several days. Stop using and call your healthcare provider if severe burning at the application site occurs or there is an ongoing general burning sensation.
  • Inhaling Trixaicin may cause coughing, sneezing, tearing, and throat or respiratory irritation.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not apply to your nipples or areolas.

Talk to your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and vitamins that you currently take. While some drugs pose minor interaction risks, others may outright contraindicate use or prompt careful consideration as to whether the pros of treatment outweigh the cons in your case.

Other Topical Capsaicin Products

Trixaicin is the brand name for capsaicin. Other brand names for capsaicin are:

  • Capzasin P
  • Arthricare For Women
  • Capsagel
  • Capsin
  • Double Cap
  • Sportsmed
  • Therapatch Warm
  • Icy Hot Arthritis Therapy
  • Capsegesic - HP Arthritis Relief
  • Capzasin-HP
  • Axsain
  • No Pain-HP
  • Pain Doctor
  • Pain-X
  • Rid-A-Pain
  • Salonpas Hot
  • Menthac
  • Aspercreme Warming
  • Red Hot
  • Revlex
  • Weh-Weh
  • Zostrix HP


Trixaicin is available in cream, gel, and liquid form. All serve the same purpose—the only difference is the strengths the forms come in. Depending on location, some will be more readily available to you and others can be ordered via prescription by your healthcare provider:

  • Topical cream: 0.025%, 0.035%, 0.075%, 0.1%
  • Topical gel: 0.025%
  • Topical liquid: 0.025%

How to Take and Store

The FDA offers the following recommendations for use of Trixaicin; however it should be applied as ordered by your healthcare provider. These recommendations include:

  • Apply only to the directed area.
  • Use as needed. Do not apply more often than recommended.
  • Don't apply these products onto damaged or irritated skin.
  • Don't apply bandages to the area where you've applied a topical muscle and joint pain reliever.
  • Don't apply heat to the area in the form of heating pads, hot water bottles or lamps. Doing so increases the risk of serious burns.
  • Don't allow these products to come in contact with eyes and mucous membranes (such as the skin of your genitals or inside your nose or mouth).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to remove any medicine that may have gotten on them. If topical capsaicin is applied to the hands, wait for 30 minutes before washing your hands. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth until you have washed your hands.
  • Stop using topical capsaicin and call your healthcare provider if your pain worsens, improves, and then worsens, or lasts longer than seven days.

Follow these precautions:

  • Store at room temperature and protected from light.
  • Keep out of reach from children.
  • Store in a dry place away from excessive heat and moisture.
  • Do not refrigerate or freeze.
  • Do not flush unused medication in the toilet. Dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program.

Side Effects

As with all medications, there are possible side effects you may experience while taking Trixaicin. Common effects include:

  • Burning sensation at the place where capsaicin was applied
  • Redness, itching, or irritation at the place where capsaicin was applied
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Throat irritation

While serious side effects with Trixaicin are very rare, immediately call your healthcare provider if you experience one of the following:

  • Pain, swelling, or blistering at the place where capsaicin was applied
  • Eye irritation or pain
  • Hypertension

It is recommended that if you experience a serious side effect to report it to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088). This can either be done by you or your healthcare provider but oftentimes they will want follow-up information on the side effect over the coming days.

Warnings and Interactions

Be aware of these:

  • There is minimal data to show the effects of Trixaixin while pregnant or lactating. Discuss with your healthcare provider before using.
  • Do not use medications containing zucapsaicin while using capsaicin.
  • There are currently no studies showing the effectiveness of Trixaicin in pediatric patients. Consult with a healthcare provider before use.
  • While using topical capsaicin, protect the treated area from direct heat such as heating pads, electric blankets, hairdryers, and heat lamps. Topical capsaicin should not be applied immediately before or after showering, taking a bath, swimming, or vigorous exercise.
  • Long-term use may lead to persistent desensitization causing possible carcinogenic effects.
6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Yong YL, Tan LT, Ming LC, et al. The effectiveness and safety of topical capsaicin in postherpetic neuralgia: a systematic review and meta-analysisFront Pharmacol. 2017;7:538. doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00538

  2. MedlinePlus. Capsaicin topical.

  3. Srinivasan K. Biological activities of red pepper (Capsicum annuum) and its pungent principle capsaicin: a reviewCrit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 2015;56,1488–1500. doi:10.1080/10408398.2013.772090

  4. Fattori V, Hohmann MS, Rossaneis AC, Pinho-ribeiro FA, Verri WA. Capsaicin: current understanding of its mechanisms and therapy of pain and other pre-clinical and clinical usesMolecules. 2016;21(7). doi:10.3390/molecules21070844

  5. Arora V, Campbell JN, Chung MK. Fight fire with fire: Neurobiology of capsaicin-induced analgesia for chronic pain. Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Nov 10:107743. doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2020.107743

  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Topical pain relievers may cause burns.

By Kathleen Gaines, MSN, RN, CBC
Kathleen Gaines, MSN, RN, CBC, is a nurse and health journalist, as well as an adjunct clinical faculty member at hospitals in the Philadelphia area.