Background/Aims: The standard of care for older patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) is poor. Stimulation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 might become a pharmacological strategy for these patients. This study aimed to compare the therapeutic effect of film food containing 0.75 µg of capsaicin in these patients. Methods: In a crossover, randomized trial, 49 patients with OD were provided capsaicin or identical placebo at least 7 days apart. Patients' reported symptoms during repeated swallowing, the volume, pH and substance P (SP) concentrations in saliva, and cervical esophageal wall motion evaluated by ultrasonographic tissue Doppler imaging were obtained before and after capsaicin or placebo administration. Results: Significantly more patients with OD who took capsaicin experienced improvement in symptoms than those who took placebo. Salivary SP levels were significantly increased after capsaicin administration compared with placebo in the effective group. The duration of cervical esophageal wall opening was significantly shorter in capsaicin administration in the effective group. Furthermore, a significant negative correlation was found between the duration of cervical esophageal wall opening and salivary SP levels. Conclusion: Elevated salivary SP concentrations stimulated by capsaicin greatly improve the safety and efficacy of swallowing, and shorten the swallow response in older patients with OD.