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Sloan’s liniment

Generic name: [kap-say-sin-top-i-kal]capsaicin topical

Brand names: aspercreme warming pain relief patch, capzasin back and body,capzasin-p, castiva warming,
Drug class: topical agents

What is Sloan’s liniment?

Capsaicin, the active ingredient that gives chili peppers their heat, is found in them. Capsaicin can be found in creams and lotions that are used to treat muscle pain or joint discomfort. When applied to the skin, capsaicin causes a sensation that is similar to heat. This heat activates nerve cells. This heating effect of capsaicin reduces the amount in the body of substance p. Substance p is a chemical that acts as a messenger of pain.

Sloan's liniment can be used to temporarily relieve muscle and joint pain due to strains, sprains, or arthritis. It is also effective for backaches. This medicine can also be used to treat pain or neuralgia in those who have suffered from herpes zoster, or "shingles."

Qutenza is a prescription-strength form of capsaicin that must be administered by a healthcare professional, used for treating herpes pain and nerve pain (peripheral neuropathy) as well as foot nerve pain associated with diabetes. Sloan's liniment can be used in other ways than those listed in the sloan's liniment guide.

Side effects of Sloan's liniment

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, difficulty breathing, lip, face or throat swelling or difficulty swallowing. Seek medical assistance immediately if any of these occur. Immediately if you experience severe blistering, burning, pain or swelling of the skin after taking this medicine, be sure to wash off the area with warm water before seeking medical assistance.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using sloan's liniment immediately and contact your doctor.

  • Pain or a reddening of the skin where the medicine has been applied
  • Loss of feeling
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing after accidental inhalation (of dried residue or capsaicin odor)

Some of the most common side effects include pain and a burning sensation. Initial symptoms from using capsaicin topically may persist for hours or even days after beginning its use topically for the first time. There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. The fda can be contacted at 1-800-fda-1088 to report side effects.

Similar/related drugs

Gabapentin, aspirin, acetaminophen, tramadol, duloxetine, naproxen, and oxycodone


Sloan's liniment should not be used if you're allergic to chilies or have had an allergic reaction before. Burning sensations may occur wherever capsaicin is applied, and if severe pain or redness appear on your skin it should be washed with cool water and soap immediately.

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience severe blistering, burning, pain, or swelling of the skin in the area where you used this medicine.

Before you take this drug

This medicine should not be used if you're allergic to chilies or have had an allergic reaction before to sloan’s liniment.

Tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • Allergies (especially to plants);
  • A serious medical condition.

Consult your doctor before taking this medication if you're pregnant or nursing. Do not apply sloan's liniment to your breasts if you're breastfeeding. Without first consulting a healthcare provider, this medication should never be administered to anyone under 18 without prior approval from a physician.

How to take Sloan’s liniment?

Follow the directions on the label or as given to you by your healthcare professional. Qutenza can only be purchased from healthcare professionals; it cannot be bought over-the-counter. Take it only by mouth. Topical medicines are only to be used on the skin. Capsaicin comes in many different forms. It is available as a cream or lotion, a liquid, or a skin patch. Please read and follow the instructions for use that come with your medicine. If you don't understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Sloan's liniment should not be used on wounds that are open or sunburned. It is also not recommended for chapped or dry skin. Rinse thoroughly if any medication enters your eyes, nose or mouth. Before applying sloan's liniment, make sure that your skin is dry and clean. After applying sloan's liniment or after handling a topical patch of skin, wash your hands immediately with soap and warm water. Wait at least 30 minutes after applying the medicine to your fingers or hands to relieve pain.

Use a cotton ball or a clean tissue instead of putting the medicine directly on your finger. Capsaicin may cause a burning feeling wherever it is used. You may experience burning if you touch a surface that has been touched by the medicine. This sensation should quickly lessen with regular use. If you experience severe pain or discomfort from the burning sensation, wash the affected area with cool, soapy water. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience severe pain, blistering, or swelling.

Cloaking treated skin in bandages or heating pads may heighten the feeling of burning. Cover the skin with clothing. Avoid bathing or showering within one hour after applying capsaicin, swimming and vigorous exercise as these can aggravate its effects; warm water or sweat could further exacerbate it.  Avoid getting sloan’s liniment near your eyes or nose, where you could inhale the product. If it becomes evident in any of these places, ensure to wash it with plenty of water to disinfect it immediately.

Avoid applying this medication directly onto dentures, contact lenses and any other items which could come in contact with sensitive areas of your body. You may need to use this medication regularly for up to two weeks before you notice any improvement in your maximize effectiveness, take the medication according to its directions. When the amount of substance p in your nerve cells decreases, pain relief should occur.

If your pain persists after 7 days of using this medication, or if you notice that your symptoms worsen or improve and return in a few more days, call your doctor. Sloan's liniment should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture or heat. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Sloan's lining is flammable. Store or use away from open flames or fire.

What happens if i miss the dose?

As soon as you recall, take the missed dose. If it's almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Capsaicin should not be applied more than four times a day. Do not use extra medicine or capsaicin to make up for a missed dosage. Sloan's liniment missed doses will not harm you, but they may reduce the effectiveness of the medicine by reducing substance p. This can make it less effective at relieving pain.

What happens if i overdose?

Call the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222 or seek emergency medical care, especially if someone has accidentally swallowed poison.

Capsaicin ingestion can cause burning around the mouth and eyes, a runny or watery nose, or difficulty swallowing or breathing. If you apply too much sloan’s liniment, it can cause burning or a reddening of the skin.

What should be avoided?

Inhaling the dried residue or odor of topical capsaicin is not recommended. Inhaling the odor or dried residue of capsaicin topical can cause watery eyes or noses, as well as coughing and sneezing. Do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, or rectum before washing your hands. Avoid handling food with the medicine still in your hand.

Avoid exposing the treated skin to sunlamps or tanning beds. Heat can exacerbate the burning sensation caused by capsaicin. You should not apply other skin care products, such as muscle pain lotions or creams, to areas where capsaicin has been applied unless you are told by your doctor.

Interaction with other drug

Capsaicin applied topically is unlikely to be affected by other drugs taken orally or injected. Many drugs interact with each other. Inform your healthcare providers of all the medicines you take, including vitamins and herbal remedies.