dimethyl sulfoxide (generic name)
- Auto Immune Conditions
- Bladder & Kidney Health
- Brain & Nervous System
- Care Transitions
- Dental Health
- Emotional Health
- Eye Health
- Falls Prevention
- Financial Planning
- General Safety
- Health Care Basics
- Healthy Living
- Hearing Loss
- Heart Health
- High Blood Pressure
- Life Transitions
- Lung Health
- Men's Health
- Nutrition & Weight Management
- Pain Management
- Preventive Health
- Sexual Health
- Stomach & Digestive Health
- Stress & Anxiety
- Women's Health
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Acute herpes infection, Alzheimer's disease, burns, cancer, closed head trauma, colitis, complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, gallstones, high cholesterol, muscle pain, pancreatitis, schizophrenia, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tuberculosis.
Adults (18 years and older)
There is no proven effective dose for DMSO for other conditions. DMSO has been taken by mouth in doses between 7 and 15 grams per day. Various solutions ranging from 10-100% DMSO have been applied on the skin. DMSO creams and gels have also been used.
Children (younger than 18 years)
There is not enough scientific information available to recommend the safe use of DMSO in children.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to DMSO should avoid its use.
Side Effects and Warnings
Skin reactions are the most common side effects with topical (applied to the skin) administration and are usually reversible after discontinuing the drug. Erythema (reddening of the skin), pruritus (itching), burning, drying, scaling, blistering, dermatitis, and wheals have been reported. Cases of headache, dizziness, sedation, and agitation have also been reported. Encephalopathy, stroke, and heart attack have been reported after DMSO was used in stem cell transplantations.
Cautious use is advised in patients with urinary tract malignancies and with hepatic (liver) and renal (kidney) dysfunction. One clinical trial reported increased urgency, dysuria (difficult or painful urination), hematuria (blood in the urine), and red urine discoloration.
Cases of nausea, vomiting, constipation, halitosis (bad breath), garlic taste, and diarrhea have been reported. Other adverse effects that have been reported include anorexia, influenza-like symptoms, facial flushing from intravenous administration, and low blood pressure resulting from topical use. Negative effects on blood cell counts like eosinophilia and hemolysis have been reported to result from intravenous (into the vein) administration. Based on one case report, seizure occurred following a dimethylsulfoxide-preserved stem cell infusion.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Not recommended due to lack of sufficient available data.
Interactions with Drugs
Using DMSO with sulindac (Clinoril®) may cause peripheral neuropathy. Animal studies have reported that the action of sulindac may be decreased by DMSO. Although human data is lacking, this drug combination should be avoided.
Interactions with Herbs and Supplements
Insufficient available information.