Capsaicin for Symptomatic Relief of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome


  • Amber Minett 4th year BPharm(Hons)- University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  • Melanie Harrison Senior Pharmacist, Emergency Medicine/Critical Care, Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, NSW, Australia


pharmacy research, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome , cannabis , student-led journal , capsaicin


Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) is a condition that affects particular people who use cannabis chronically, where they experience intractable nausea and vomiting that is refractive to standard antiemetic treatment. The transient receptor potential, vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptor, is currently being studied as a potential target for the treatment of CHS using topical capsaicin. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of topical capsaicin cream in the treatment of symptoms of nausea and vomiting associated with CHS. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 37 patients that presented to the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital from December 2019 to October 2021 displaying cyclical nausea and vomiting, that was associated with chronic cannabis use. Data was collected from patients’ paper and electronic-based records, if they met the inclusion criteria, and were treated with 0.025% topical capsaicin cream. 30 patients displayed improved symptom relief after the application of the cream, and seven patients experienced no effect from the cream. This study provided an insight into the effects of capsaicin in an Australian population, and can provide medical staff within hospital emergency departments with a potential treatment modality for patients presenting with CHS.


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