Capsaicin: a therapeutic option for painful diabetic neuropathy

Henry Ford Hosp Med J. 1991;39(2):138-40.


Fifteen patients with diabetes mellitus who had painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) were enrolled in a double-blind study to test the safety and efficacy of capsaicin 0.075% (Axsain, Genderm, Northbrook, IL). Twelve of the 15 patients completed the eight-week study. Nine of the 12 patients reported symptomatic relief; of these nine, five used the drug and four used the vehicle. The three patients who reported no relief of symptoms applied the vehicle. Capsaicin is potentially effective when burning pain is a major symptom of PDN. The side effects of capsaicin were limited and minimal. This agent should be considered by clinicians for treatment of PDN.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Capsaicin / adverse effects
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Capsaicin / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / complications*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Patient Education as Topic


  • Capsaicin