Capsaicin (Zostrix), an alkaloid extract is obtained from hot chili peppers. It is accessible in the form of cream and lotion. Capsaicin is a hydrophobic, instable and pungent white crystalline powder, that has no smell and color. It is produced by mixing a branched-chain fatty acid to vanillylamine in the chili pepper.
Capsaicin is used as an important component of oleoresin capsicum or pepper spray. It plays a beneficial role in obesity, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal conditions, several cancers, neurogenic bladder and dermatologic conditions. It is used in the production of spices, chilli sauces and pain-inducing defensive pepper sprays. Capsaicin is also used to manufacture creams to treat diabetic neuropathy, cluster headache, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. It is considered as an agonist of the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TrpV1).
Prototype vanilloid receptor agonist. Neurotoxin; activates sensory neurons that give rise to unmyelinated C-fibers, many of which contain substance P. Topical application desensitizes the sensory nerve endings giving a paradoxical antinociceptive effect; systemic administration can be neurotoxic to capsaicin-sensitive cells, especially in newborn animals. Active component of chili peppers.