Dimethyl sulfoxide is commonly referred to as “DMSO” and has many potential uses in veterinary medicine. It is a free radical scavenger with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is known for its effectiveness in treating acute inflammation and is efficacious for both acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain. DMSO is available as a topical solution, a topical gel, a topical ear formulation, and an injectable solution.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- An anti-inflammatory and analgesic
- Often applied topically to manage acute swelling and inflammation due to a trauma
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING
- Can be used to manage musculoskeletal pain from an injury, trauma, or osteoarthritis
- Can be used as an adjunct for postoperative analgesia
- Can be used to manage certain dermatological conditions
- Can be used to manage certain forms of cystitis
- Can be used to manage central nervous system trauma
- Can be used in circumstances where the has been a transient reduction in blood flow to an area
- Can be used for its mild anti-fungal and antimicrobial effects
Read and follow the prescription label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.
The reasons for prescribing DMSO vary so the duration of administration depends on the condition being treated.
Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.
Baseline blood work is recommended to assess your pet's general health before starting this medication.
Periodic blood work to monitor its effects on the body, specifically the liver and kidneys, is also advised if long term therapy is necessary. Dose adjustments may be made based upon these results and an assessment of how your dog or cat is responding clinically.
Frequent ophthalmological examinations are recommended for patients receiving regular DMSO due to the potential for ocular lens changes.
If applying topically, only apply to clean and dry skin with a clean cotton swab to avoid absorption of other compounds through the skin.
Call ahead for refills.
Ideally, give this medication at the same time(s) daily.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) should be stored in a childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight. When not being used, keep the lid tightly on the container.
You should wear rubber gloves because this medication can easily penetrate your skin.
Apply in a well ventilated area, avoid inhalation or contact with eyes. Following application, dispose of gloves appropriately and wash hands thoroughly.
DMSO easily penetrates the skin and can act as a carrier agent to promote the absorption of other medications or toxins. It needs to be handled cautiously to avoid carrying potentially toxic compounds across the skin. Avoid mixing DMSO with any other medications or chemicals. Only apply to skin that has been cleaned and dried to avoid absorption of other compounds through the skin.
This medication can can mask an underlying pathology due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS
- This medication is usually well tolerated
- This medication can cause local allergic reactions
- This medication can cause a localized burning sensation and irritate the skin when administered locally
- This medication is rapidly absorbed and excreted through the lungs and skin. Treated animals often give off a characteristic garlic odor that some people may find offensive.
- If you notice any of these symptoms or if your pet's condition worsens contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur when giving in conjunction with: alcohol, atropine, corticosteroids, insulin, and organophosphates
- Drugs other than those listed may also interact with Dimethyl sulphoxide
- Do not give new food or medications without first talking to your veterinarian
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet receives more than the prescribed amount.
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Use with caution in animals that are debilitated, dehydrated, or in shock
- Use with caution in animals with mastocytomas
- Animals that may be pregnant or nursing
- Animals with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to this drug should not take this medication
WHAT TO TELL/ASK A VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?
- When your pet will need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
- If your pet has experienced side effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medications can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, dimethyl sulfoxide should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.
It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about dimethyl sulfoxide. If you have any questions or concerns about this medication or the condition it was prescribed for, please contact your veterinarian.