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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: capsicum (Pronunciation: CAP sih kum)

What is capsicum ()?

The use of capsicum in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Capsicum is also known as cayenne pepper, red pepper, African chilies, green pepper, tabasco pepper, paprika, pimiento, Mexican chilies, Louisiana pepper, and others.

Capsicum has been used internally as a gargle for throat irritation or infection, for stomach ailments, and to protect against hardening of the arteries and heart disease.

Capsicum has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of capsicum may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Capsicum may also have uses other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of capsicum ()?

Although rare, allergic reactions to capsicum may occur. Stop taking capsicum and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Other less serious side effects have also been reported infrequently. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider if you experience

  • upset stomach;
  • heartburn;
  • diarrhea; or
  • burning sensation in the mouth or throat or with skin contact.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about capsicum ()?

Do not take capsicum without first talking to your doctor if you are allergic to peppers (green, red, orange, yellow, chili, peppercorns, etc.). You may also be allergic to capsicum.

Do not get capsicum in the eyes. Severe burning, stinging, and eye irritation may occur. If capsicum gets in the eyes, seek medical attention.

Capsicum has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of capsicum may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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