Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Jan 29;43:142-148. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2021.01.073. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) is a clinical disorder characterized by abdominal pain and intractable vomiting among patients with chronic marijuana use. We sought to assess the efficacy of capsaicin to determine whether it could reduce ED length of stay in patients with CHS.
METHODS: his retrospective observational study was conducted among patients with CHS. Patients were classified based on whether they received capsaicin, which was pseudorandomized and dependent on the pharmacist available. Outcomes included time to discharge, number of medications given, bounceback rate, and admission rate. Statistical analyses included t-tests, survival analyses, and cox regressions.
RESULTS: 55 patients (35 capsaicin, 20 no capsaicin) met inclusion criteria. There was no difference in time to discharge between the experimental and control groups (4.46 h vs 3.52 h, p = 0.10), rounds of medications given (2.60 vs 3.54, p = 0.09), bounceback rate within 24 h (0.11 vs 0.10, p = 0.43), or admission rate to the hospital (0.19 vs 0.05, p = 0.07). A survival analysis and cox regression showed no difference in time to discharge. A subgroup analysis between patients who received capsaicin within their first two rounds of treatment had statistically significantly shorter length of stays than patients who received capsaicin afterwards, (4.83 h vs 7.09 h, p = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Topical capsaicin was not associated with shorter length of stays than no capsaicin. When given earlier during an ED visit, it is associated with a shorter length of stay than when given later.