Gathered by "Lapetite"

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Here's a wealth of info on DMSO along with a link to where each came from.

The major thing (outside of the fact that it is an *extremely* powerful solvent... which can carry any solute directly into the bloodstream) is that on exposure to air it forms a very high and toxic level of peroxides.

DMSO frequently causes a garlic-like body odor and taste in the mouth. Other reported side effects include stomach upset, sensitivity to light, visual disturbances, and headache. Skin irritation can develop at the site where DMSO is applied topically. Only highly purified, properly diluted DMSO should be used and the skin site as well as the applying hand should be thoroughly cleaned before application, because the solvent properties of DMSO allow contaminants to be absorbed through the skin and transported into the bloodstream. Improperly diluted DMSO can also burn the skin. (The page link that was here is no longer valid.)

Severe consequences could result if the impure industrial or veterinary grades of DMSO are used on humans.

Dr. James R. Crook, professor of medicine at the University of Alaska and a specialist in human diseases, expresses the fear that users of DMSO may be unaware of how fast the solvent and materials dissolved in it can penetrate the skin and other parts of the body. Because of the fast action, a substance which by itself might have limited or no effect could cause serious damage or death if accidentally or intentionally applied to the body in a DMSO solution.

At present, "Rimso-50" is still the only DMSO product approved by FDA for use in humans. DMSO available in health food stores or by mail order is an industrial form of the chemical, consisting of about 99% DMSO, and is not labeled for human use.

Topical application of DMSO has been associated with redness, itching, and inflammation of the skin and a garlic-like taste and odor on the breath. Intravenous administration of DMSO has been reported to cause transient hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells), resulting in urinary excretion of hemoglobin. Several additional adverse effects of DMSO are mentioned in the Donsbach booklet (Dr. Donsbach Tells You What You Always Wanted to Know About DMSO), including "possible damaging effects to the liver, the kidneys, blood forming organs, and the central nervous system"; and "headache, dizziness, nausea, and sedation."

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Also indexed as: Dimethyl Sulfoxide 
What does it do? DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is a colorless, slightly oily liquid that is primarily used as an industrial solvent. The use of DMSO for therapeutic applications is controversial, but some evidence indicates that DMSO has anti-inflammatory properties and alleviates pain when applied to the skin. These effects have been reported particularly with connective tissue diseases (such as scleroderma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis) and muscle injuries. DMSO applied to the affected area appears to reduce pain by inhibiting transmission of pain messages by nerves and may also soften the abnormal connective tissue associated with disorders such as Dupuytren’s contracture, keloids, Peyronie’s disease, and scleroderma.

Double-blind and other controlled studies have found a 25% DMSO gel effective for pain relief in osteoarthritis of the knee and a 50% DMSO cream helpful for symptoms of acute reflex sympathetic dystrophy. However, while a double-blind trial successfully used a 10% DMSO gel to reduce pain and improve movement in people with acute tendinitis of the shoulder or elbow, an older double-blind trial found no difference between the effects of a 70% DMSO solution and a 5% DMSO “placebo” solution.

Preliminary research has suggested that DMSO may help relieve symptoms of amyloidosis of the skin.

Some medical doctors have instilled DMSO into the bladder to treat interstitial cystitis. A study from Malaysia reports that oral DMSO reduced relapse rates for peptic ulcer significantly better than placebo or the ulcer drug, cimetidine. DMSO is sometimes used by physicians as a vehicle to help absorb other therapeutic agents through the skin.
Where is it found? DMSO is derived from trees as a manufacturing by-product from the processing of paper. Metabolites (breakdown products) of DMSO, such as the sulfide and sulfone forms, are naturally present in the human body. However, the role of these in the body is not clear.

How much is usually taken? DMSO is not indicated for healthy people. Those who do use this substance should consult a doctor familiar with its use. Some physicians do not recommend the use of DMSO due to concerns about safety and questions about efficacy. The potential for contamination exists in some DMSO products designed for industrial uses. DMSO used topically is rapidly absorbed through intact skin. Therefore, the area of skin (and the hands applying DMSO) must be clean, because anything on the skin will also be absorbed along with the DMSO.


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