What is the role of capsaicin in managing cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
According to the cited reference “Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a disorder of cyclic and recurrent nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain associated with high-frequency and extended-duration marijuana use. Standard antiemetic therapy is often ineffective; however, capsaicin, an agonist of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), has shown promise in treating CHS.” In this retrospective cohort study “Forty-three patients met the inclusion criteria within the study period. ED LOS was reduced with capsaicin by a median of 22 minutes (201 vs. 179 min, p = 0.33). Patients received fewer additional medications if capsaicin was utilized (4 vs. 3 doses, p = 0.015), and 67% of visits where capsaicin was utilized required no further treatment prior to discharge. Additionally, opioid usage was less when utilizing capsaicin (166.5 vs. 69 mg OME). Forty-two percent of patients did not have a repeat CHS presentation to the ED after receiving capsaicin for an additional three months after the study period ended. Total medication cost was minimally more expensive (median difference of $3.26) in the capsaicin group. There were no significant adverse events reported with capsaicin.” (Wagner S, Hoppe J, Zuckerman M, Schwarz K, McLaughlin J. Efficacy and safety of topical capsaicin for cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome in the emergency department. Clinical Toxicology. 2019 Sep 3:1-5.)