Dimethyl sulfoxide, better known as DMSO or methyl sulfoxide, is a medication commonly used to treat a vast range of health conditions, from bladder infections to skin inflammation to high blood pressure. Several manufacturers produce over-the-counter (OTC) varieties of the drug as well, though in many countries non-prescription versions are not approved or regulated by government product safety boards. Doctors can help their patients determine whether or not the medicine is appropriate for their specific conditions.
Before DMSO gained popularity for its medicinal properties, it was used in industry as a solvent in chemical and manufacturing plants. Doctors and medical scientists began exploring the biological applications of the compound in the 1960s, discovering that it has the unique ability to penetrate layers of skin tissue without causing irritation or damage. The medication was found effective in helping other topical medicines, such as antibacterial and antifungal solutions, reach their destinations without affecting the skin. In oral or intravenous form, it can promote the absorption of medicines into internal organs.
For Interstitial Cystitis
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), DMSO is only approved as a treatment for interstitial cystitis, a chronic condition of the bladder that basically causes pain and pressure as well as burning and discomfort to either the bladder alone or the entire region of the pelvis. This particular condition is far more common in women than men. Someone suffering from interstitial cystitis will find periods of relief, through both medication and remission, yet won’t necessarily be “cured” of the condition.
It is held for a specified amount of time (usually 15 minutes, but the doctor may recommend a longer or shorter stretch) and then released naturally through the individual’s urine. The patient should really have no problem going to the bathroom since her bladder will be rather full. While dimethyl sulfoxide solution is being held within the bladder, it is said to lessen any inflammation or swelling caused by the specific bladder condition, as well as reduce any pain isolated to this area of the body. The application is done about every two weeks until the patient is relieved of the symptoms.
When methyl sulfoxide(CAS No. 67-68-5) is used as directed by a doctor, the chances of adverse side effects are very low. The most frequently reported side effects include localized drying of skin tissue, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Rarely, a person can have an allergic reaction to the medicine that can cause widespread skin inflammation and breathing problems. Some studies suggest that large quantities of DMSO can lead to future liver and kidney problems. Recently, it has in fact found another use, this time in the treatment of herpes, or at least a herpes outbreak.