Cayenne consists of the dried, ripe fruits, usually removed from the calys, of various capsaicin-rich Capsicum species, notably C. frutescens L. and C. annuum L. [Fam. Solanaceae].
The fruits contain capsaicinoids (up to 1.5%, usually about 0.1%).
The major component is capsaicin.
Other components include carotenoid pigments, proteins, fats, and vitamins, including vitamins A and C.
Unless otherwise prescribed: In ointment preparations containing 0.02% to 0.05% capsaicinoids. In liquid preparations containing 0.005% to 0.01% capsaicinoids. In poultices containing 10g. to 40g. capsaicinoids per cm 2. In capsule form, 30mg. to 120mg. three times daily.
Duration of administrations: Externally, it is generally best not to use capsicum preparations longer than two days. Fourteen days must pass before a new application can be used in the same location. Longer use on the same area may cause damage to sensitive nerves.
Note: At least one expert recommends topical application of the cream containing low concentrations of capsaicin four to five times daily for at least four weeks to achieve best results for use in herpes zoster (shingles), phantom pain syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, and cluster headaches.