Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size


DMSO, or dimethyl sulfoxide, is a by-product of paper making. It comes from a substance found in wood.

DMSO has been used as an industrial solvent since the mid-1800s. From about the mid-20th century, researchers have explored its use as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Recommended Related to Vitamins & Supplements


Chitosan is a type of fiber taken from the shells of crustaceans such as: Shrimp Clams Lobster

Read the Chitosan article > >

The FDA has approved DMSO as a prescription medication for treating symptoms of painful bladder syndrome. It's also used under medical supervision to treat several other conditions, including shingles.

DMSO is easily absorbed by the skin. It's sometimes used to increase the body's absorption of other medications.

DMSO is available without a prescription most often in gel or cream form. It can be purchased in health food stores, by mail order, and on the Internet.

While it can sometimes be found as an oral supplement, its safety is unclear. DMSO is primarily used by applying it to the skin.

Why Do People Use DMSO?

DMSO has been used to try to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. It has also been promoted as an "alternative" cancer treatment.

People have used it to try to treat wounds, burns, and other injuries. People have also used it to try to treat such conditions as:

Other than its use as a prescription medicine, there is little or no scientific evidence to support other claims made about DMSO's effectiveness.

The American Cancer Society says there is no evidence to support the use of DMSO to treat cancer. Using it that way could cause serious delays in getting proper and effective treatment.

A recent analysis of studies on the use of DMSO to relieve osteoarthritis pain found that it was not significantly more effective than placebo in relieving joint pain.

There are no studies that provide guidelines for determining the proper dose of DMSO. The gel used to treat osteoarthritis typically has a concentration of 25%. It is applied three or four times a day. But DMSO sold without a prescription can range from 10% concentration to 90%.

Vitamins and
Lifestyle Guide

Which Nutrients
Are You Missing?

Learn More

Today on WebMD

vitamin rich groceries
Do you know your vitamin ABCs?
St Johns wart
Ease hot flashes and other symptoms.
Are you getting enough?
Take your medication
Wonder pill or overkill?
fruits and vegetables
Woman sleeping
Woman staring into space with coffee

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.