Topical application of capsaicin for treatment of oral neuropathic pain and trigeminal neuralgia

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1994 Feb;77(2):135-40. doi: 10.1016/0030-4220(94)90275-5.


Neuropathic pain may be a major cause of pain in the head and neck. Trigeminal neuralgia may appear as intraoral pain. This article reviews a series of 24 consecutive cases of oral pain treated with topical capsaicin. Complete remission of neuropathic pain was seen in 31.6% of patients; partial remission was achieved in 31.6% of patients. Trigeminal neuralgia with an intraoral trigger was less responsive to topical therapy than neuropathic pain. Further study is needed to clarify the efficacy of topical capsaicin in neuropathic and neuralgic pain and the effect of differing dosages and frequency of application. On the basis of the findings in this open-label clinical trial, controlled clinical study of capsaicin in neuropathic oral pain states appears warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Capsaicin / adverse effects
  • Capsaicin / therapeutic use*
  • Facial Pain / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Toothache / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / drug therapy*


  • Capsaicin