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Dimethyl Sulfoxide


Domoso, Rimso-50 (human drug)


Gel and aqueous solution


DMSO is a colorless liquid. It is derived from the extracted pulp of trees during the manufacturing process. It is a potent scavenger of free-radicals that harm the cells of the body and delays healing.

DMSO appears to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, as well as some antibacterial and antifungal activity.

DMSO is able to penetrate skin easily, and is well absorbed following topical application. It is widely distributed to all areas of the body. DMSO metabolizes to dimethyl sulfide, and is excreted primarily by the kidneys.

Some studies indicate that DMSO is carcinogenic at high doses over lifetime in rats.
Studies also indicate that DMSO is not teratogenic in rats or mice.6 However, risk versus benefit should be taken into consideration if planning to use this preparation in rats or mice that may be pregnant or nursing.

DMSO is classified as a nutritional supplement. The classification is defined by the U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, Oct. 25, 1994, and states that to be a nutritional supplement it should contain one or more of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, mineral, amino acid, herb or other botanical; and that it be intended for ingestion in the form of a pill, capsule, tablet, gel-cap or liquid form. Also that it not be represented as a conventional food or as a sole item of a meal or the diet, and that it is labeled as a dietary supplement.


Topical application for skin ulcer, wounds, arthritic conditions. Reduces swelling and inflammation. More effective in acute than chronic conditions.

Drug Interactions or Contraindications:

May mask any other existing infection or inflammatory conditions.

DMSO will degranulate mast cells, caution is advised if using in conditions where mastocytoma is suspected or has been diagnosed.

DMSO can have an effect on vasodilation and diuresis. Refrain from use in rats that are dehydrated or appear to be in shock.

DMSO may potentiate the effects of atropine, corticosteroids or insulin.

Avoid use in conjunction with organophospates or cholinesterase inhibitors, due to DMSO’s anticholinesterase activity.

Adverse Reactions:

Skin:  local allergic reaction such as redness and burning sensation.

Other:  heptotoxicity, renal toxicity

Dosage Recommendations

When applying to skin, cleanse area prior to application, then paint or pat on skin with an applicator, or swab.6


  • Store in air tight containers away from light. DMSO self dilutes to 66-67% if allowed to be in contact with room air.6
  • Note: Non-medical grades of DMSO may contain some impurities.
  • Unless using a roll on application, or an applicator, use gloves to prevent absorption to the person applying.
  • Caution when applying near fabric as damage may occur.
  • Jacob, S., & Herschler, R. (1986). Pharmacology of DMSO. Cryobiology, 23(1), 14-27. Retrieved December 15, 2008, from http://www.dmso.org/articles/information/herschler.htm.

Posted on February 21, 2004, 10:23, Last updated on January 1, 2009, 20:31 | Herbals / Health Supplements

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