Therapeutic applications of capsaicin in humans to target conditions of the respiratory system: a scoping review

Nour Toukan, Stefan Tino Kulnik, Agnieszka Lewko, Amr ElShaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Various studies have explored potential therapeutic applications of capsaicin in human medicine, for example in pain, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disease. The aim of this scoping review was to identify and chart available evidence on therapeutic applications of capsaicin in humans using any mode of capsaicin delivery to treat conditions of the respiratory system. Methods: Electronic bibliographic databases (Web of Science, PubMed, Medline, ScienceDirect, Embase, Scopus) were searched from inception to 2021 to identify experimental studies reporting clinical outcomes of therapeutic applications of capsaicin. Studies with or without control group published in peer-reviewed journals were included. Animal studies, studies of human cell lines, and physiological proof of concept studies were excluded. Reviewer pairs independently double-screened 2799 search results for inclusion. Results: Twenty-three original studies were included. Capsaicin has been investigated for the treatment of non-allergic rhinitis (n = 15), nasal polyposis (n = 3), allergic rhinitis (n = 2), unexplained chronic cough (n = 2), and prevention of aspiration pneumonia (n = 1). Modes of delivery included intranasal application (nasal spray, soaked pads, solution), inhalation, ingestion, and aural ointment. Seventeen studies reported positive effects of capsaicin on clinical outcomes for rhinitis, nasal polyposis, chronic cough, and pneumonia. Sixteen studies reported on the safety of capsaicin, with no reports of significant adverse events and overall fair to good patient acceptability. Conclusion: While the evidence identified in this review has limited implications for clinical practice, studies support the general safety of capsaicin as administered in these studies and highlight emerging strands of research and clinical hypotheses which warrant further examination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106772
Number of pages10
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Volume194
Early online date21 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

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© 2022, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.

Keywords

  • Capsicum
  • Cough
  • Humans
  • Respiratory
  • Review safety

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