Doctors in NY, who treated the patient, have today published the case in the prestigious BMJ Case Reports.
"The patient ate the pepper and immediately starting having a severe headache that started in the back of the head and spread all over within two seconds", explained Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, lead author of the report and a senior staff physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He developed a crushing neck pain and an intense headache. And a CT scan 5 weeks later showed that his affected arteries had returned to their normal width.
"We would not advise against eating Carolina Reaper at this time, but we would recommend the general public be cautious about these adverse effects and we advise that they should seek medical attention immediately if they develop sudden onset headache after eating hot peppers".
FYI: What is Carolina Reaper?
The "crushingly painful" headaches came on in the next few days.
The amusingly named PuckerButt Pepper Company, creator of the Carolina Reaper, describes the experience of eating one: "A roasted sweetness delivering an instant level of heat never before achieved continuing with an increasing tidal wave of scorching fire that grips you from head to toe".
After WhatsApp, 'unsend' your messages on Facebook Messenger soon
Hearings over the issue are scheduled in the USA , and the European Union is considering what actions to take against the company. Facebook Indonesia Head of Public Policy Ruben Hattari says they will keep cooperating with the Indonesian government.
The doctors noted that there are no previous reports of RCSV being caused by eating hot peppers, but there are reports of cayenne pepper causing spasms in blood vessels, as well as heart attacks. It's not always clear what causes RCVS, but it can sometimes be due to unusual reactions to medications like serotonin reuptake inhibitors (which are antidepressants like Prozac or Zoloft) or illicit drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines.
The new pepper, however, is even hotter.
The man's symptoms improved without any specific treatment.
No, Professor Parsons said: "This is the first time it's been reported from eating chilli, and a lot of people in a lot of cultures consume a lot of chilli, so it must be pretty rare".
The patient was fine, with no lingering damage, but thunderclap headaches are not to be dismissed.
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