Individuals with known allergy or hypersensitivity to DMSO should avoid its use.
Side Effects and Warnings
Skin reactions are the most common side effects with topical administration and are usually reversible after discontinuing the drug (8;25). Erythema, pruritus, burning, drying, scaling, blistering, dermatitis, and wheals have been reported (26;27;28). Cases of headache, dizziness, sedation, agitation, and encephalopathy have also been reported (29).
Cautious use is advised in patients with urinary tract malignancies and with hepatic and renal dysfunction. One clinical trial reported increased urgency, dysuria, hematuria, and red urine discoloration (30).
Cases of nausea, vomiting, constipation, halitosis (garlic-like breath), garlic taste, and diarrhea have been reported (31;32;29;33;34). Other adverse effects that have been reported include anorexia, influenza-like symptoms, facial flushing from intravenous administration, low blood pressure, and halitosis resulting from topical use (29;33). Negative effects on blood cell counts like eosinophilia and hemolysis have been reported to result from intravenous administration (33).
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Not recommended due to lack of sufficient available data.
Currently there is insufficient evidence on widely accepted standardization and few available standardized products of DMSO.
Adults (18 years and older)
Amyloidosis:7-15 grams of DMSO per day has been taken by mouth (16). 50-100% DMSO solution has been applied to affected skin twice per week (16).
Erosive gastritis: 10% DMSO in a dose of 500mg four times per day with has been taken by mouth with cimetidine 400mg twice per day (9).
Extravasation: Dressings with 77-90% DMSO solution have been applied to the skin every 3-8 hours for 10-14 days (8;17;18;19).
Herpes zoster: A dose of 5-40% idoxuridine in DMSO applied to the skin within 48 hours after appearance of rash and applied every 4 hours for 4 days has been used s(20).
Inflammatory bladder disease: A dose of 50mL of 50% aqueous DMSO solution has been instilled every 2 weeks for 3 treatments and then every 4 weeks when the symptoms decrease or the patient is symptom-free. The patient should retain the solution for 30 minutes before voiding (21).
Ischemia of surgical flaps: A 60% solution has been applied to skin flaps after surgery every 4 hours for 4 days (10).
Intracranial pressure: A 10% DMSO solution of 1 gram/kg infused rapidly or 20% DMSO solution infused and titrated against intracranial pressure has been used (22). A 28% DMSO solution at a dose of 1.12 gram/kg infused rapidly has also been used (11).
Interstitial cystitis:Instilling a 50% aqueous DMSO solution 50mL intravesically into the bladder has been used. The catheter should be removed and the patient should retain solution in bladder for 15-20 minutes before voiding (23).
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy: 50% DMSO cream has been applied for two months (24).
Rheumatoid arthritis: A topical 60-90% DMSO solution or gel has been applied to affected area of skin 1-3 times per day for 1-3 weeks (16).
Children (younger than 18 years)
There is not enough scientific information available to recommend the safe use of DMSO in children.
Interactions with Drugs
Using DMSO with sulindac (Clinoril®) may cause peripheral neuropathy. Animal studies have reported the action of sulindac may be decreased by DMSO. Although human data is lacking, this drug combination should be avoided (35
Interactions with Herbs and Supplements
No known interactions.