DMSO (DIMETHYLSULFOXIDE) Overview Information
DMSO is a prescription medicine and dietary supplement. It can be taken by mouth, applied to the skin (used topically), or injected into the veins (used intravenously or by IV).
DMSO is taken by mouth, used topically, or given intravenously for the management of amyloidosis and related symptoms. Amyloidosis is a condition in which certain proteins are deposited abnormally in organs and tissues.
DMSO is used topically to decrease pain and speed the healing of wounds, burns, and muscle and skeletal injuries. DMSO is also used topically to treat painful conditions such as headache, inflammation, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe facial pain called tic douloureux. It is used topically for eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, and problems with the retina; for foot conditions including bunions, calluses, and fungus on toenails; and for skin conditions including keloid scars and scleroderma. It is sometimes used topically to treat skin and tissue damage caused by chemotherapy when it leaks from the IV that is used to deliver it. DMSO is used either alone or in combination with a drug called idoxuridine to treat pain associated with shingles (herpes zoster infection).
Intravenously, DMSO is used to lower abnormally high blood pressure in the brain. It is also given intravenously to treat bladder infections (interstitial cystitis) and chronic inflammatory bladder disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain DMSO products for placement inside the bladder to treat symptoms of chronic inflammatory bladder disease. DMSO is sometimes placed inside bile ducts with other medications to treat bile duct stones.
In manufacturing, DMSO is used as an industrial solvent for herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, and plant hormones.
How does it work?
DMSO helps medicines get through the skin and can affect proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and water in the body.
- Bladder infections (interstitial cystitis) when used as an FDA-approved product.
Possibly Effective for:
- Decreasing nerve pain caused by the herpes zoster virus (shingles) when used with a drug called idoxuridine.
- Inflammatory bladder disease.
- Treating skin and tissue damage caused by chemotherapy when it leaks from the IV.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- A skin condition called scleroderma.
Likely Ineffective for:
- Arthritis. Developing evidence suggests that applying DMSO topically might help decrease symptoms associated with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
- A condition called amyloidosis. Some early evidence suggests that applying DMSO topically might help treat amyloidosis.
- High blood pressure in the brain. Some evidence suggests that DMSO used intravenously might lower high blood pressure inside the brain.
- Eye problems.
- Gall stones.
- Muscle problems.
- Helping skin heal after surgery.
- Skin problems such as calluses.
- Other conditions.
DMSO (DIMETHYLSULFOXIDE) Side Effects & Safety
DMSO is safe when used as a prescription medication. Don't use products that are not prescribed by your health professional. There is concern that some non-prescription DMSO products might be “industrial grade” and are not intended for human use. They can contain impurities that can cause health effects. To make matters worse, DMSO readily penetrates the skin so it carries these impurities rapidly into the body.
Some side effects of taking DMSO by mouth or applying it to the skin include skin reactions, dry skin, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, breathing problems, vision problems, blood problems, and allergic reactions. DMSO also causes a garlic-like taste, and breath and body odor.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of DMSO during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: There are reports that topical use of DMSO can change how insulin works in the body. If you use insulin to treat diabetes and also use DMSO, monitor your blood sugar closely. Insulin doses may need to be adjusted.
Liver problems: DMSO might harm the liver. If you have liver conditions and use DMSO, be sure to get liver function tests every 6 months.
Kidney problems: DMSO might harm the kidneys. Kidney function tests are recommended every 6 months if you use DMSO and have a kidney condition.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications applied to the skin, eyes, or ears (Topical drugs) interacts with DMSO (DIMETHYLSULFOXIDE)
DMSO can sometimes increase how much medicine the body absorbs. Applying DMSO along with medications you put on the skin or in the eyes or ears can increase how much medicine your body absorbs. Increasing how much medicine your body absorbs might increase the effects and side effects of the medicine.
- Medications given as a shot (Injectable drugs) interacts with DMSO (DIMETHYLSULFOXIDE)
DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) might help the body absorb some medicines. Using DMSO and getting a shot might increase how much medicine the body absorbs and increase the effects and side effects of medications given as a shot.
- Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with DMSO (DIMETHYLSULFOXIDE)
DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) might increase how much medicine your body absorbs. Taking DMSO along with medications taken by mouth might increase how much medicine your body absorbs. Increasing how much medicine your body absorbs can increase the effects and side effects of your medicines.
DMSO (DIMETHYLSULFOXIDE) Dosing
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- For prevention of some side effects of cancer treatment: 77-90% DMSO is typically applied under medical supervision every 3-8 hours for 10-14 days.
- For shingles (herpes zoster): 5-40% idoxuridine in DMSO is within 48 hours after the appearance of a rash and applied every 4 hours for 4 days.
- For nerve pain: 50% DMSO solution has been used 4 times daily for up to 3 weeks.
- For osteoarthritis: 25% DMSO gel has been used 3 times a day, and 45.5% DMSO topical solution has been used 4 times a day.
INSIDE THE BLADDER:
- For frequent urge to urinate (interstitial cystitis) and for chronic inflammatory bladder disease: Healthcare providers drip a DMSO solution into the bladder using a tube called a catheter. The catheter is removed and the patient is asked to hold the solution for a period of time before urinating.