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Mentholatum Ointment

Generic Name: camphor and menthol topical (KAM for and MEN thol TOP ik al)
Brand Name: Arctic Relief, Berri-Freez, DermaSarra, Fast Freeze, Freeze It, Men-phor, Mentholatum Ointment, Sarna, Theraflu Vapor Stick, Tiger Balm

Medically reviewed on March 15, 2017.

What is Mentholatum Ointment?

Camphor is a mild pain reliever.

Menthol is either manmade or made from the extracts of mint oil. Menthol provides a cooling sensation when applied to the skin.

Mentholatum Ointment (for the skin) is a combination medicine used to relieve minor muscle or joint pain. This medicine may also be used as a chest rub to soothe chest congestion and relieve cough caused by the flu or common cold.

Mentholatum Ointment may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

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

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have sensitive skin.

Do not use this medicine on a baby or young child without a doctor's advice.

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

How should I use Mentholatum Ointment?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Wash your hands before and after applying this medicine.

For your first use, apply only to a small skin area to test how your skin reacts to the medicine.

Camphor and menthol can cause a burning or cold sensation, which is usually mild and should lessen over time with continued use. If this sensation causes significant discomfort, wash the skin with soap and water.

Do not use on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin. Do not cover treated skin with a bandage or expose it to heat from a hot tub, heating pad, or sauna.

Do not apply this medicine within 1 hour before or 30 minutes after you take a bath or shower.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache, or a skin rash. Also call your doctor if you still have pain, or if the pain goes away and then comes back within a few days.

Store at room temperature. Keep the medicine tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Mentholatum Ointment is when needed, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of camphor and menthol is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using Mentholatum Ointment?

Do not take by mouth. Camphor and menthol is for use only on the skin. Do not use this medicine on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin.

If this medication gets in your eyes, nose, or mouth, rinse with water.

Mentholatum Ointment side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using camphor and menthol and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe burning, stinging, or irritation after using this medicine; or

  • breathing problems after using this medicine on the chest or throat.

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)

What other drugs will affect Mentholatum Ointment?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied camphor and menthol. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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