Common side effects from cayenne may include temporary skin irritation, burning, and stinging or redness. However, these are part of the normal, expected effects that usually disappear after repeated use. Other side effects may include nerve damage, increased sensitivity to pain, eye problems (e.g., redness, burning, altered vision), shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough.
Cayenne can interact with some medications. It increases the effects of blood thinners (e.g., warfarin, heparin, aspirin), blood clot dissolving medications (e.g., alteplase), and barbituates (e.g., phenobarbital, thiopental). Cayenne also increases the risk of side effects from different medications including theophylline and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (e.g., ramipril, lisinopril).
If you are using any of these medications, talk to your health care provider before using cayenne.
You should use topical cayenne for a minimum of 1 to 4 weeks to see benefits. In addition, wash your hands immediately after using cayenne unless treating the hands. Avoid eye contact with cayenne, and avoid applying on broken or injured skin.
Experience with cayenne is limited in children, so it should not be used in children under 2 years of age.
Avoid using cayenne if you:
- have a stomach ulcer, stomach inflammation, or other stomach or intestinal disease (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome)
- have kidney disease
- are allergic to cayenne or any other ingredients of this natural health product
- are pregnant or breast-feeding
Consult your health care provider if your symptoms persist or worsen after taking cayenne.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.