You might think that there would be dangers of DMSO, but it is remarkably safe. Dimethyl sulfoxide does have two potential side effects:
1. Your breath and body may smell–some say like garlic; some say like clams; I say like creamed corn. This can be a significant annoyance. It goes away, of course, when you stop using it.
2. You may have an allergic reaction at the point where you apply it. If you have an allergic reaction, such as swelling, redness or inflammation, see your doctor right away. This is extremely rare, with about the same occurrence as reactions to other common substances, like aspirin, for example.
Dimethyl sulfoxide has been widely used for over 30 years, and a number of human studies have been done. At the time of the writing of this report, there are no studies indicating that it is toxic during short-term use with the recommended amounts.
After two human studies done on human volunteers in prison, Dr. Richard Brobyn stated: “A very extensive study of DMSO was conducted at three to 30 times the usual treatment dosage in humans for three months. DMSO appears to be a very safe drug for human administration, and, in particular, the lens changes that occur in certain mammalian species do not occur in man under this very high, prolonged treatment regimen. I am very glad to be able to present these data at this time, so that we can permanently dispel the myth that DMSO is in any way a toxic or dangerous drug.”
SEE YOUR DOCTOR! If you have a condition for which you are considering DMSO, see your doctor first. If you have that much pain, your doctor should take a look at it, and even if you don’t have pain, you should check with your doctor first. Plus, dimethyl sulfoxide may affect how your body uses other drugs you are taking, so be sure to let your doctor know what medications you are on.
Don’t use it if you are pregnant.
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, or are breast feeding, don’t use it. Although the research is scanty, there may be a risk to the fetus or infant. If you’re on birth control pills and not trying to get pregnant, this caution does not apply. But, if studies show that small amounts of caffeine or alcohol may cause birth defects, even low-risk dimethyl sulfoxide may also have an effect. Why take a chance?
Interactions with other drugs
DMSO may increase the effects of drinking alcohol and may increase the effects of other drugs, including those that make you less than normally alert. Check with your doctor and be careful driving or doing other things that require full alertness.
While it can help a wound heal faster and decrease scar formation, it should not be used on wounds that are infected.
Don’t use it for poison ivy or poison oak or for insect bites, since it may spread the substance that is causing your discomfort.
Don’t store it in proximity with toxic substances. Stay away from toxic substances during and after application of DMSO (for 3 hours afterward, to be absolutely safe). And if you accidentally spill a toxic substance on yourself after using DMSO, don’t panic; just wash it off right away with soap and water.
Take a good multivitamin/mineral supplement to neutralize the free radicals released by DMSO in the healing process. It should contain vitamins A, C, E, B1, B6, zinc and selenium.
Always notify your physician immediately should you have any symptoms of allergic reaction. These would include shortness of breath or trouble breathing, swelling of the face, itching, rash or hives.