Medically reviewed on September 11, 2018
What is dimethyl sulfoxide?
Dimethyl sulfoxide is used to treat pain and swelling caused by bladder or urinary conditions including cystitis (bladder inflammation or irritation).
Dimethyl sulfoxide will not treat a bladder infection.
Dimethyl sulfoxide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not receive dimethyl sulfoxide if you are allergic to dimethyl sulfoxide.
To make sure dimethyl sulfoxide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
bladder or kidney cancer; or
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether dimethyl sulfoxide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether dimethyl sulfoxide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is dimethyl sulfoxide given?
Dimethyl sulfoxide is injected directly into the bladder using a catheter or syringe inserted into the urethra (the tube for passing urine out of your bladder). A healthcare provider will give you this medicine in a clinic setting.
After dimethyl sulfoxide is placed into the bladder, you will need to hold the medicine in for 15 minutes before emptying your bladder.
If you have severe cystitis, you may be given an anesthesia to numb your pelvic area before you are treated with dimethyl sulfoxide.
Dimethyl sulfate is usually given once every 2 weeks until your symptoms are relieved. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Your doctor may also want you to take other medicines to treat pain or bladder spasm. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medicines.
While using dimethyl sulfoxide, you may need frequent blood and urine tests.
Because dimethyl sulfoxide can affect your eyes, you may also need to have eye exams before and during treatment.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your dimethyl sulfoxide treatment.
What happens if I overdose?
Since dimethyl sulfoxide is injected into the bladder and not into the bloodstream, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid while receiving dimethyl sulfoxide?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Dimethyl sulfoxide side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers if you feel severe discomfort or irritation when the medicine is inserted, or while you are holding it in your bladder. This discomfort may become less noticeable over time with repeat treatments.
You may notice a garlic- or onion-like taste in your mouth while you are receiving dimethyl sulfoxide. This effect may last for several hours after you receive the medicine, and you may also sense these odors on your breath or skin. This is a normal side effect of dimethyl sulfoxide and is not cause for concern.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Dimethyl sulfoxide dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Cystitis:
Instill 50 mL of dimethyl sulfoxide into the bladder by catheter or Asepto syringe. Allow to remain for 15 minutes. The medication is expelled by spontaneous voiding.
Maintenance dose: Repeat every 2 weeks until maximum symptomatic relief obtained
Duration of therapy: Time intervals between therapy may be increased appropriately
What other drugs will affect dimethyl sulfoxide?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on dimethyl sulfoxide used in the bladder. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
More about dimethyl sulfoxide
- Dimethyl sulfoxide Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- Drug class: miscellaneous genitourinary tract agents