Capsaicin is a counter-irritant extracted from the pepper plant. There have been some studies indicating that this topical salve can be effective in helping relieve the pain of cluster headache.

Capsaicin is a natural chemical derived from plants of the solanaceae family. Although the precise mechanism of action is not fully understood, evidence suggests that the drug renders skin insensitive to pain by depleting some chemical substances, such as Substance P, and preventing pain impulses from the periphery to the central nervous system.

Capsaicin also is used for the temporary relief of pain associated with herpes zoster infections, diabetic neuropathy and post-surgical pain. It can be used by adults and children, applied to the affected area three or four times daily. Some transient burning may occur on application. Careful hand washing with soapy water is needed to remove capsaicin. Avoid touching your eyes after use of this agent.

Capsaicin should only be used under a doctor’s supervision.