Intranasal capsaicin is efficacious in non-allergic, non-infectious perennial rhinitis: A placebo-controlled study

H.M. Blom*, J.B. van Rijswijk, Ingrid M. Van den Berg - Garrelds, P.G.H. (Paul) Mulder, T. Timmermans, Roy Gerth van Wijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


Background Several authors described capsaicin, the pungent substance in red pepper, as an efficacious therapy for non-allergic non-infectious perennial rhinitis (NANIPER). Repeated capsaicin application induces peptide depletion and specific degeneration of the unmyelinated sensory C-fibres in the nasal mucosa.

Methods We performed a placebo-controlled (NaCl 0.9%) study with 25 NANIPER patients. Daily record charts and visual analogue scales (VAS) were used for clinical evaluation. Nasal lavages were obtained before, during, and after treatment.

Results There was a significant and long-term reduction in the VAS scores in the capsaicin group. No significant difference was found between the placebo and capsaicin treated groups for the mean group concentrations of leukotriene (LT) C4/D4/E4, prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). and tryptase. The levels of mast cell mediators, tryptase and PGD2. and leukotrienes, mediators derived from a variety of inflammatory cells, were low at baseline and comparable with levels observed in nasal lavages obtained from normals.

Conclusion As involvement of inflammation could not be demonstrated, it is not surprising that capsaicin has no effect on inflammatory mediators. This suggests that inflammatory cells do not play a major part in the pathogenesis of NANIPER.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-801
Number of pages6
JournalClinical & Experimental Allergy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997

Bibliographical note

© 1997 Blackwell Science Ltd.

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-01-64-03
  • EMC OR-01-62-04


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