Dimethyl sulfoxide

Generic Name: dimethyl sulfoxide (dye-METH-il sul-FOX-ide)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Dimethyl sulfoxide is used for:

Treating symptoms associated with a certain bladder problem (interstitial cystitis). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Dimethyl sulfoxide is a sterile solution of dimethyl sulfoxide. It is unknown exactly how dimethyl sulfoxide works.

Do NOT use dimethyl sulfoxide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dimethyl sulfoxide

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using dimethyl sulfoxide:

Some medical conditions may interact with dimethyl sulfoxide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have cancer of the bladder or urinary tract

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dimethyl sulfoxide. However, no specific interactions with dimethyl sulfoxide are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dimethyl sulfoxide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use dimethyl sulfoxide:

Use dimethyl sulfoxide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dimethyl sulfoxide is usually administered at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using dimethyl sulfoxide at home, carefully follow the procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If you have severe symptoms or an especially sensitive bladder, the first few treatments may be performed while you are under anesthesia.
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide is placed into the bladder by catheter or special syringe. An analgesic gel may be applied prior to insertion of the catheter to help prevent spasms and discomfort.
  • This treatment may be repeated every 2 weeks until relief of symptoms occurs, unless prescribed differently by your doctor. After you experience relief, the treatment may be repeated less often as determined by your doctor.
  • It may take several weeks for the full benefit of dimethyl sulfoxide to be seen. Do not stop using dimethyl sulfoxide without talking with your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of dimethyl sulfoxide, contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dimethyl sulfoxide.

Important safety information:

  • A garlic-like taste may appear a few minutes after use. This taste may last several hours. Garlic odor on the skin or breath may last up to 72 hours.
  • The discomfort associated with treatment usually lessens with additional treatments.
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide may be harmful if swallowed. If you may have taken dimethyl sulfoxide by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
  • LAB TESTS, including eye exams, liver function tests, kidney function tests, and complete blood counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use dimethyl sulfoxide with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking dimethyl sulfoxide, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using dimethyl sulfoxide during pregnancy. It is unknown if dimethyl sulfoxide is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using dimethyl sulfoxide, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of dimethyl sulfoxide:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Bladder discomfort; garlic odor on breath or skin for up to 72 hours; garlic taste for several hours.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); eye pain or burning; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of dimethyl sulfoxide:

Store dimethyl sulfoxide at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Protect from light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep dimethyl sulfoxide out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dimethyl sulfoxide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dimethyl sulfoxide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dimethyl sulfoxide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dimethyl sulfoxide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dimethyl sulfoxide.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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