Capsaicin for the Treatment of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Virginia
Updated on 2 February 2021


This study aims to determine if capsaicin cream offers symptomatic relief to patients suffering from Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (condition that leads to repeated and severe bouts of vomiting).



The purpose of this study is to determine if capsaicin cream offers symptomatic relief to patients suffering from Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. We hypothesize that the use of topical capsaicin may provide effective symptomatic relief more quickly than conventional anti-emetic therapy alone thereby decreasing costs for continued drug therapies, repeat laboratory testing, radiographic imaging, and specialist consults.

Primary endpoint:

Time to resolution of symptoms, clinical improvement in pain score as defined by visual analog score.

Approach and methods:

Patients presenting to the UVA Emergency Department with chief complaint of nausea and vomiting who endorse cannabinoid use via inhalation or consumption. Patients 18 years of age and older will be included in the study and patients who have another clear indication for nausea/vomiting or cyclic vomiting (infection, appendicitis, pain, etc.) will be excluded. Patients who are enrolled in the study will be randomized 1:1 to treatment vs. placebo. All patients will be allowed 1L of intravenous fluids and one to two standard anti-emetics. The Investigational Drug Services team at UVA will be involved in compounding the capsaicin treatment versus placebo and drug/placebo shall remain in place for at least 30 minutes. Clinical improvement will be scored based on visual analog score for pain and assessment at hourly increments until discharge or admission.

Condition Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
Treatment Placebo, Capsaicin
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04283292
SponsorUniversity of Virginia
Last Modified on2 February 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

At least 18 years old
Diagnosis of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome

Exclusion Criteria

Patients who receive more than 2 anti-emetic therapies prior to screening for enrollment
Patients who receive haloperidol as an anti-emetic therapy
Pregnant women
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