Open Accessibility Menu

Capsaicin (QUTENZA®) Patch

A treatment for foot pain in people with diabetes or persistent nerve pain after a shingles outbreak

Facts and information about Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the “stinging” substance found in chili peppers.

In everyday life, Capsaicin is used to flavor foods or as an ingredient in self-defense “pepper” sprays. Medically, Capsaicin is used to treat nerve pain in people with nerve damage.

(Nerve pain often appears as a stinging, “pins and needles” sensation, or extreme sensitivity to touch.)

Contact National Spine & Pain Centers to schedule an appointment with an affiliated pain specialist for Capsaicin (QUTENZA®) Patch treatment today.

Capsaicin helps people with the following:

  • Diabetic nerve pain treatment. Half of all people with diabetes suffer painful nerve damage due to high blood sugar levels. Nerve damage in people with diabetes appears in the feet, legs, arms, and hands in a “sock and glove” pattern.To read more, click on Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.
  • Shingles pain treatment. Some people who experience a shingles outbreak continue to have burning pain for months, even after the rash heals. This persistent pain after a shingles outbreak is due to nerve damage from the Herpes Zoster Virus. To read more, click on Post Herpetic Neuralgia.

How does Capsaicin work?

Capsaicin is available at local pharmacies as an over-the-counter cream used to temporarily relieve muscle and joint aches.

A more concentrated form of Capsaicin is available as a prescription-strength skin patch under the brand name QUTENZA®.

The Capsaicin patch (QUTENZA®) works by “desensitizing" a person to pain. When first applied to the skin, it causes a burning sensation. However, with repeated use, the burning sensation disappears, and the nerve pain also decreases.

How is QUTENZA® applied?

The QUTENZA® patch is applied in a pain specialist’s office.

The patch is placed over the skin area where a person normally has pain. To prevent any discomfort from the stinging properties of QUTENZA®, a numbing Lidocaine cream is first applied to the skin.

Treatment takes around 30 minutes. You go home the same day.

How often is QUTENZA® offered?

Treatment with the QUTENZA® patch may be repeated every three months or as warranted by the return of pain.

What are the expected results?

In a clinical study, after one application of the QUTENZA® patch, patients with diabetic nerve pain experienced relief for the nerve damage in their feet after 19 days.

In a different clinical study, some patients with Post Herpetic Neuralgia (nerve pain after shingles) began to feel pain relief after one week.

Some patients who did not respond to the first treatment of QUTENZA® found pain relief after a second treatment.

Is there a longer-lasting treatment?

If nerve pain does not improve with QUTENZA® (or other medications such as antidepressants), your pain specialist may recommend a stimulator device implant.

To read more about treatments for nerve pain, click below.

Take a Moment to Request Your Appointment Now

Just take a few seconds to fill out this form, and send your request so that our team can get you scheduled.

Personal Information
  • * Indicates Required Field
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
    Please make a selection.