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Dimethyl Sulfoxide

Dimethyl Sulfoxide

The organosulfur chemical dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) has the formula (CH3)2SO. This white liquid is a polar aprotic solvent that dissolves polar and nonpolar molecules and is miscible with a variety of organic solvents as well as water. Its boiling point is rather high. After contact with the skin, DMSO has the odd effect of giving many people a garlic-like taste in their mouth.

DMSO is a chemical solvent that is frequently utilised. When applied to the skin, it absorbs quickly and has been found to decrease pain and inflammation. Dimethyl sulfoxide is a prescription medication used to relieve bladder irritation and discomfort. DMSO may help reduce peripheral neuropathy and post-thoracotomy pain, according to small studies. Its effects on painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis have also been examined, although convincing data is insufficient. More study is also needed to see how it affects osteoarthritis sufferers.

Intravesically given DMSO is authorised for the treatment of interstitial cystitis.

Because of its strong polarity, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a frequently used chemical solvent. It's also used as a cryoprotectant. DMSO has been explored as a carrier for topical medicines because it is easily absorbed by the skin. It has been used topically to alleviate pain and treat arthritis and is considered to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. DMSO may help reduce peripheral neuropathy and post-thoracotomy pain, according to small studies. It's also being studied for its impact on painful bladder syndrome and interstitial cystitis, but there's no conclusive proof yet. More study is required to establish its advantages in osteoarthritis sufferers.

DMSO has been utilised in oncology to prevent and control chemotherapeutic drug extravasations. It may help delay the development of cancer cells, however the evidence is mixed.

When dimethyl sulfoxide is exposed to oxygen, it dilutes. It quickly enters the skin when applied topically, yet unlike other penetrating solvents, it does not cause irreparable membrane damage. Other medicines' skin penetration can be aided by DMSO. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, DMSO retains free radical hydroxide; its antioxidant capabilities are considered to be important for chemotherapeutic extravasation avoidance. The exhaled dimethyl sulfide (DMS) metabolite causes a distinct garlic flavour in the mouth after dimethyl sulfoxide treatment.


  • DMSO is used topically for wounds, burns, and muscular and skeletal injuries to reduce pain and accelerate recovery. Dimethyl sulfoxide is also used topically to treat painful diseases such as headaches, inflammation, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and tic douloureux (severe face discomfort).
  • As a cancer therapy
  • Although some laboratory research has suggested that dimethyl sulfoxide may delay the growth of cancer, clinical trials have yet to be conducted.
  • In a hospital environment, Dimethyl sulfoxide can be used to treat chemotherapy extravasations (chemotherapy that has spilt and gotten stuck in surrounding tissue).
  • To alleviate discomfort
  • In humans, applying dimethyl sulfoxide to the skin appears to decrease pain.
  • To alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide treatment to the skin has been shown in a few trials to decrease pain and inflammation in people; however, further research is needed to establish the appropriate dosage.
  • Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a kind of interstitial cystitis that affects (inflammation and pain of the bladder of unknown origin)

Side Effects

  • Dimethyl sulfoxide usage has been linked to a garlic taste in the mouth, dry skin, erythema, pruritis, urine discolouration, halitosis, agitation, hypotension, drowsiness, and dizziness.
  • The most prevalent side effects of dimethyl sulfoxide were moderate, transitory gastrointestinal and skin responses, according to a comprehensive analysis of 109 research, and modest dosages proved to be safe.
  • In mice, DMSO was shown to induce brain injury. The clinical significance is unknown.
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