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Intranasal Capsaicin May Be Effective Migraine Treatment

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  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.

Comments

  • Paul
    4 years ago

    “I suffered from chronic headaches — diagnosed by the New England Center for Headache, Stamford , CT , as combined tension/migraine/rebound — for decades. I self-treated with Excedrin and, for 10 years after diagnosis, with prescribed Fioricet and Fioricet with codeine, if needed. Numerous preventive drugs either didn’t work or caused unacceptable side effects. There was no end in sight. Then, my doctor at the Center, Dr. Alan Rapoport, who had done research on capsaicin as a preventive for cluster headaches, tried me on a sample of Sinol spray, based on capsaicin. It was miraculous. Within 3 months, I was off all meds and was using Sinol only occasionally; within 6 months, I was off Sinol too. I still keep it around for the rare occasion when, e.g., wine or oriental spicy food might trigger a mild headache, but my headaches have now been essentially gone for several years. Based on my experience, Sinol nasal spray is something that should be brought to the attention of your readers, especially for breaking the al years. Based on my experience, Sinol nasal spray is something that should be brought to the attention of your readers, especially for breaking the rebound effect. It doesn’t have a horrible burn like described and it is similar to a menthol wasabi type feeling. I liked it very much. It is available over the Internet at http://www.sinolusa.com and at several retail establishments.”

  • Luna
    5 years ago

    Active Ingredients: Capsicum Annuum 3X, Zingiber Officinale 3X

    Inactive Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis gel, benzalkonium chloride, carboxymethylcellulose and microcrystalline cellulose, capsaicin, citric acid, disodium EDTA, eucalyptol, glycerol, grapefruit seed extract, phenylethylalcohol, polysorbate 80, sodium citrate

    I accidentally swallowed some Ausanil. What should I do?
    If Ausanil is ingested by mistake, contact your local poison control center immediately and seek medical help as soon as possible.

    Was interested until reading the inactive ingredients then saw the instructions about accidental ingestion. NO WAY!

  • Diana-Lee author
    5 years ago

    Interesting instruction for a nasal spray product, isn’t it?! 🙂

  • margaret
    5 years ago

    Thank you for the information!

  • Diana-Lee author
    5 years ago

    My pleasure!

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