Intranasal Capsaicin May Be Effective Migraine Treatment
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According to a small study, use of intranasal capsaicin for treatment of Migraine and other Headache Disorders may be effective.

Researchers presented the results of treatment of 18 patients with the substance at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in May 2014.

Capsaicin is an extract of the chili pepper plant capsicum annuum. The lab created version is called civamide. It is believed the substance works to alleviate pain associated with Migraine and Cluster Headache by desensitizing the trigeminal nerves, which in turn reduces CGRP. CGRP, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide, is a protein in the brain that binds to receptors that lead to many symptoms commonly associated with a Migraine attack, such as pain, inflammation and vasodilation. CGRP is currently a popular, important and promising research target.

Of the 18 patients treated with intranasal capsaicin (Ausanil homeopathic nasal spray):

  • All 18 lived with moderate to severe functional disability due to the severity of attacks related to their Headache Disorders.
  • More than 72% of patients (13) reported experiencing complete pain relief.
  • One patient reported no relief.
  • Eight patients experienced complete pain relief within a minute of administration.
  • Seven patients experienced pain relief between one and three minutes of administration.
  • All patients reported experiencing nasal stinging and eye watering. However, none of the 17 patients who experienced relief using the treatment said these issues would keep them from continuing to use it.

The product studied, Ausanil, is currently available for purchase online as an over-the-counter product, but as always, please discuss the appropriateness of this treatment with your health care providers before you start using it.

For your reference, Migraine.com team member Ellen shared her experience using a capsaicin nasal spray in a blog post: Migraine Treatment Experiences: Capsaicin Nose Spray.

view references
  1. Maria Alexianu and Anjan Chatterjee. "Intranasal Capsaicin (IC) Rapidly Relieves the Pain of Migraine and Other Severe Headaches (P7.179)" Neurology April 8, 2014 vol. 82 no. 10 Supplement P7.179.
  2. "Patient Study Highlighting Intranasal Capsaicin As An Effective Treatment Option For Rapid Pain Relief Of Severe Headaches And Migraine To Be Presented At 66th Annual American Academy Of Neurology Meeting." Ausanil press release, April 30, 2014. PR Newswire. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/patient-study-highlighting-intranasal-capsaicin-as-an-effective-treatment-option-for-rapid-pain-relief-of-severe-headaches-and-migraine-to-be-presented-at-66th-annual-american-academy-of-neurology-meeting-257331561.html, accessed May 30, 2014.
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