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DMSO, or dimethyl sulfoxide, is a spin-off of paper making. It originates from a substance found in wood. DMSO has actually been used as an industrial solvent because the mid-1800s. From about the mid-20th century, researchers have explored its use as an anti-inflammatory agent. The FDA has actually approved DMSO as a prescription medication for treating symptoms of agonizing bladder syndrome. It’s also used under medical supervision to deal with several other conditions, including shingles.

DMSO is quickly absorbed by the skin. It’s in some cases utilized to increase the body’s absorption of other medications. DMSO is readily available without a prescription frequently in gel or cream kind. It can be acquired in natural food shops, by mail order, and on the Internet. While it can sometimes be discovered as an oral supplement, its safety is unclear. DMSO is mainly utilized by applying it to the skin. (1 )


DMSO is a prescription medicine and dietary supplement. It can be taken by mouth, applied to the skin (utilized topically), or injected into the veins (used intravenously or by IV).

DMSO is taken by mouth, utilized topically, or provided intravenously for the management of amyloidosis and related symptoms. Amyloidosis is a condition in which specific proteins are transferred unusually in organs and tissues.

DMSO is utilized topically to reduce discomfort and speed the recovery of injuries, burns, and muscle and skeletal injuries. DMSO is likewise utilized topically to treat unpleasant conditions such as headache, swelling, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe facial pain called tic douloureux. It is utilized topically for eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, and issues with the retina; for foot conditions including bunions, calluses, and fungi on toe nails; and for skin problem including keloid scars and scleroderma. It is often utilized topically to treat skin and tissue damage triggered by chemotherapy when it leaks from the IV that is used to deliver it. DMSO is used either alone or in mix with a drug called idoxuridine to treat discomfort related to shingles (herpes zoster infection).

Intravenously, DMSO is used to lower abnormally hypertension in the brain. It is also offered intravenously to treat bladder infections (interstitial cystitis) and chronic inflammatory bladder illness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has actually approved specific DMSO products for placement inside the bladder to treat symptoms of persistent inflammatory bladder illness. DMSO is sometimes positioned inside bile ducts with other medications to deal with bile duct stones. In manufacturing, DMSO is used as an industrial solvent for herbicides, fungicides, prescription antibiotics, and plant hormones. (2 ).

Does DMSO really work?

Let’s take a better take a look at DMSO as envision you want to know if it works and how it works. And believe me, I want to get you through this quickly so you can simply proceed with utilizing it.

Perhaps it’s my northern blood due to the fact that I do not do BS. When it pertains to natural health procedures I have one simple concern … does it work? (Like, does it truly assist individuals recover without doing any harm)!

And I need to state, I have actually used DMSO on myself and in my practice– and the answer is an impressive YES.

In a clinical setting– (which also includes people on my detox retreats and my nutrition diploma trainees) … the results have actually ranged from nothing less than valuable to absolutely nothing except amazing.

As part of a dietary recovery health care, I’ve seen fantastic results with my own eyes: individuals who concerned us IN a wheelchair, literally leaving the door by the end of just one week; debilitating ringing in the ears gone in 1 week; pain medications dramatically decreased; mobility considerably enhanced… rapid injury healing; fast tissue repair work (e.g. frozen shoulders); elimination of headaches; lowered arthritic pain; cured neck and back pain; lowered oedema; improved memory.

Even Animals

I’ve even utilized DMSO as part of my dog’s rehab procedure for a shoulder injury. And by the way, her physio likewise deals with horses and reports knowing many vets who use DMSO routinely in the treatment of equine muscle or joint injury. (3 ).

What is DMSO utilized for?

DMSO is an incredibly versatile therapy. For starters, it is among the few substances that can be administered orally, topically, and through injection of both the vein and the muscle. The results of thousands of research studies vouching for its health-promoting residential or commercial properties strongly support the view that DMSO is a really considerable healing anti-inflammatory which holds promise in managing a wide variety of debilitating conditions:.

Arthritis – With its capability to permeate tissues, DMSO shows worth in lowering discomfort and inflammation in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and potentially even gout.

Atherosclerosis – In lab tests, DMSO has demonstrated its ability to postpone the development of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) caused by dietary cholesterol, as well as suppress the accumulation of cholesterol in tissues, in spite of seriously elevated levels.

Drug extravasation injury – Extravasation refers to the escape of a drug into the extravascular space (soft tissue), either by leak from a vessel or by direct infiltration. When chemotherapy drugs leak into surrounding tissues (extravasate), the results can be seriously harmful. Lots of research studies have revealed that DMSO application has substantially enhanced extravasation tissue injury in affected patients.

Herpes – DMSO has actually been used to improve penetration of alpha-interferon ointment in the treatment of herpes.

Interstitial cystitis – Instilling DMSO in the urinary bladder is an FDA-approved pain-relieving treatment for this persistent inflammatory condition.

Reflex considerate dystrophy – DMSO helps eliminate the discomfort of this condition, an autonomic nerve system condition defined primarily by overwhelming pain in the extremities.

Scleroderma (hardening of the skin) – In standard work done at the Cleveland Center, topical DMSO was discovered to have an anti-inflammatory impact while increasing blood supply to the skin.

Strains and sprains – DMSO offers fast elimination of discomfort and increased movement when utilized topically. It passes through the skin’s oily membranes and decreases swelling and inflammation nearly immediately.

Keloids, Scars, Burns, Bruises – A concentration of 50 to 80% put on 2 or 3 times a day will flatten a raised scar after numerous months. It is of significant worth in shallow burns and when used quickly to an injury, it can get rid of any bruising. (4 ).

What evidence is there that DMSO works?

There is extremely little scientifically legitimate research study to reveal that DMSO is practical for any medical condition including its approved medical usages. The United States Food and Drug Administration carried out screening on DMSO in the early 1960’s and stopped after finding that using this item was causing serious eye problems in their test animals. Since then well-controlled clinical trials have actually not been carried out on this product to figure out if there are possible negative effects from its long term use or if there are possibly damaging drug interactions. A double blind placebo controlled study carried out in Germany and published in 1995, did reveal that 25% DMSO gel used topically to arthritic joints did minimize pain during both rest and activity. However, it ought to be thoroughly kept in mind that these outcomes could not be reproduced in the United States. (5 ).

DMSO What You Need To Know

  • An affordable compound called dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) holds terrific pledge in handling a diverse array of health conditions, yet has mainly been ignored by the medical community.
  • Originally found as a byproduct of paper production, DMSO has actually demonstrated impressive anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant residential or commercial properties.
  • DMSO is currently approved for only one clinical indication: interstitial cystitis, an unpleasant persistent inflammatory condition of the urinary bladder.
  • One of DMSO’s most promising roles is dealing with severe closed head trauma. Research Study by Dr. Stanley Jacob reveals that DMSO eases brain swelling and restores blood flow and oxygenation following such injuries.
  • Research studies suggest further applications for DMSO in fighting health problems such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
  • DMSO’s advantages are mainly unidentified and not available to the United States public, primarily due to the fact that it is a low-cost compound that is ineligible for patenting by pharmaceutical business. (6 )

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

How to Take It


Do not give sulfur to a child.


There is no advised dietary allowance for sulfur. Many people get all they need from their diet. (7 ).

Dimethyl sulfoxide Adverse effects

Side effects needing instant medical attention

In addition to its required impacts, dimethyl sulfoxide may cause some unwanted impacts. Although not all of these adverse effects may happen, if they do happen they may require medical attention.

Consult your physician right away if any of the following side effects take place while taking dimethyl sulfoxide:.

  • Nasal blockage
  • shortness of breath or struggling breathing
  • skin rash, hives, or itching
  • swelling of face

Some clients may have some discomfort during the time this medication is being taken into the bladder. Nevertheless, the discomfort usually becomes less each time the medication is used.

Dimethyl sulfoxide may cause you to have a garlic-like taste within a few minutes after the medicine is taken into the bladder. This effect might last for numerous hours. It may likewise cause your breath and skin to have a garlic-like odor, which may last up to 72 hours.

Handling negative effects (general info)

For Healthcare Professionals.

Applies to dimethyl sulfoxide: compounding liquid, irrigation solution, topical service.


Frequency not reported: Odor on skin (may remain for 72 hours).


Frequency not reported: Garlic-like taste (a few minutes after instillation), odor on breath (may remain for 72 hours).


Frequency not reported: Chemical cystitis.


Frequency not reported: Severe pain on administration.

More about dimethyl sulfoxide

  • During Pregnancy
  • Dose Details
  • Drug Interactions
  • En Español
  • Drug class: various genitourinary system representatives

Patient resources

  • Drug Information
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide Intravesical (Advanced Reading)

Other brand names

  • Cryoserv, Rimso-50

Related treatment guides

  • Bladder Infection
  • Interstitial Cystitis (8 )

What are the adverse effects of Dimethyl Sulfoxide (Rimso-50)?

Get emergency medical help if you have indications of an allergic reaction: hives; tough breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers if you feel serious discomfort or inflammation when the medication is inserted, or while you are holding it in your bladder. This might become less noticeable over time with repeat treatments.

You may discover a garlic- or onion-like taste in your mouth while you are getting dimethyl sulfoxide. This result may last for several hours after you receive the medication, and you may also sense these smells on your breath or skin. This is a normal negative effects of dimethyl sulfoxide and is not cause for issue.

This is not a total list of adverse effects and others may take place. Call your physician for medical advice about negative effects. You might report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most essential information I should know about Dimethyl Sulfoxide (Rimso-50)?

You ought to not be treated with dimethyl sulfoxide if you are allergic to it.

  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
  • bladder or kidney cancer; or
  • vision issues.
  • It is not known whether this medication will hurt a coming child. Tell your physician if you are pregnant or strategy to become pregnant.
  • It might not be safe to breast-feed while using this medication. Ask your physician about any danger. (9 )

Human Being And Animal Metabolic Process

DMSO is metabolized in people by oxidation to dimethyl sulfone, DMSO2 or by reduction to dimethyl sulfide, DMS. DMSO and DMSO2 are excreted in the urine and feces. DMS is removed through the breath and skin with a particular “garlic” or “oyster-like” smell. Human excretion of orally administered DMSO is complete within 120 hours, with urinary excretion being the main path. The rate of renal clearance has actually been revealed to be comparable for chronic and singly administered dosages regardless of dosage concentration. No residual build-up of DMSO has been reported in people or lower animals who have actually gotten DMSO treatment for lengthy amount of times, regardless of route of dosage administration.

Metabolite Toxicity

The metabolites of DMSO are DMSO2, which naturally occurs at low levels in human urine (PDR, 1994) 8, and DMS, which naturally takes place in plants, the atmosphere, and lakes and oceans (Pearson et al., 1981) 9. Both of these metabolites are readily excreted from the body. Based on their widespread natural occurrence and all set degradation and/or excretion, the production of these metabolites from the proposed use of DMSO on food producing plants is not expected to present any toxicological issue.

Effects On Other Organisms

Results on Plants. DMSO by itself and DMSO with prescription antibiotics, minerals, nutrients, pesticides and other products have been sprayed on, injected into, painted on, and fed to a variety of plants. It has a low order of phytotoxicity in these applications.

Results on Fish. Wilford11investigated the toxicity of DMSO in water to 9 types of fish. At 96 hours, the LC-50 was 32,000 to 43,000 ppm DMSO (3 – 4%). This is far less harmful than acetone (fingernail polish cleaner) and other commonly used solvents.

Effects on Sewage Plants. DMSO is eco-friendly in biological systems. It is converted in part to methyl sulfone and to dimethyl sulfide. The sulfone is stable and inert and degraded only gradually by bacteria or physical factors. At high concentrations, some DMS might leave, producing its characteristic odor.

Natural Incidents In Food

The incident of DMSO and its metabolites, dimethyl sulfide and methyl sulfone (DMSO2), have been widely reported in a range of foods. Pearson9 and colleagues reported finding 0.07 to 16 ppm DMSO, in addition to DMSO2, in 14 fruits, veggies or drinks. This natural event insures that the body can deal with DMSO by reputable metabolic processes. Naturally-occurring DMSO has been recognized in alfalfa, asparagus, barley, beans, beets, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, oats, onions, Swiss chard, tomatoes, apples, raspberries, spearmint, beer, milk, coffee and tea. DMSO concentrations in fresh fruits, veggies and grains varied from undetected (<< 0.05 parts per million) to 1.8 ppm.


DMSO is not mutagenic to Salmonella, Drosophila, and fish cell cultures. Since DMSO is so non-reactive as a mutagen, it is commonly utilized as a solvent in mutagenicity screening. Although DMSO is bacteriostatic or bactericidal at concentrations of 5-50%, there is no proof that DMSO triggers chromosomal aberrations at levels that are not straight poisonous to cells. Bone marrow smears from primates (rhesus monkeys) that received oral or topical dosages of DMSO for 18 months showed no DMSO effects (Vogin et al., 1970) 12. An in vivo cytogenetics research study of DMSO administered by intraperitoneal injection to male rats discovered a considerable boost in aberrant femoral bone marrow cells when compared to controls (Kapp and Eventoff, 1980) 13. However, evidence from the Salmonella research studies and other toxicology data, specifically the teratology data, suggests that the boost in aberrant femoral cells likely resulted from direct toxicity of DMSO injected into an animal instead of a classic “mutagenic” reaction.

According to Brayton (1986 ), there are no documented unfavorable genetic effects reported as a result of medical DMSO uses (consisting of quasi-medicinal uses for treatment of arthritis or sprains and pressures). Additionally, no unfavorable genetic effects have actually been reported from occupational exposure to DMSO in over 40 years of industrial usage (Brayton, 1986). There is no evidence that DMSO triggers chromosomal aberrations at levels that are not directly toxic to cells.

Reproductive And Developmental Toxicity

A mouse teratology NOEL of 12g/kg/day has actually been developed based upon research study with a 50% DMSO service administered orally. Additional teratogenicity studies of orally administered DMSO to pregnant mice, rats, bunnies and guinea pigs have shown that DMSO is not a teratogen in mammals other than at high levels that trigger obvious maternal toxicity and are coincident with the maximum tolerated dose. The data recommend that DMSO is not teratogenic at low levels regardless of the route of administration. Lastly, the teratogenic potential of DMSO depends on the route of administration, the dosage level and gestation stage at exposure.

The one study (Robens, 1968) that did show proof of teratogenic impacts (in hamsters, one of three animal types tested) from oral administration of DMSO is inappropriate to use for a teratologic assessment of DMSO for the following factors:.

DMSO was not the substance of interest but was used just as a solvent control at 2 really high dose levels which prevented establishing a NOEL.

Among the DMSO levels evaluated resulted in maternal death and was clearly beyond the optimum endured dose (MTD).

DMSO is ruled out to be straight embryotoxic and has been revealed to be an effective cryoprotectant for mammalian semen and embryos (Brayton, 1986).

In summary, the evidence of the above teratology data suggests that:

DMSO is not a teratogen to mammals when administered via oral and dermal paths at dose levels that do not produce overt maternal toxicity.

DMSO is not a teratogen at low dose levels despite the route of administration.

The teratogenic potential of DMSO is dependent on route of administration, the dose level and the gestational time of exposure.


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