menthol and methylsalicylate (Bengay, Icy Hot, Mentholatum D, Salonpas) (cont.)

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Adults and children 12 years of age and older (Cream, balm, spray, stick, spray, balm, and foam): Apply liberally to affected area up to 3 to 4 times daily. Do not use on open wound or damaged skin. Do not use with a heating pad.

Children under 12 years of age: Consult a doctor.

For those 18 years and over, one patch should be placed on the affected area for 8 to 12 hours. A second patch may be added after removing the first one if pain continues. Do not use for more than 2 patches a day or for more than 3 days in a row.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Menthol/methylsalicylate topical products should be used with caution with blood thinning medications like warfarin (Coumadin), nonsteroidal anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and steroids due to increased likelihood of bruising and bleeding resulting from methylsalicylate which acts like aspirin and can affect blood clotting.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies done on menthol and methylsalicylate to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether menthol and methylsalicylate enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of menthol/methylsalicylate are stinging, burning, hypersensitivity, redness, and tingling sensation of skin. Although the likelihood is low these products may increase the risk of bleeding in individuals who have ulcers, elderly, are taking NSAIDs (for example ibuprofen), steroids, drink more than 3 drinks a day, or have other risks for stomach bleeding.


Menthol, methylsalicylate – Prescribing Information. Menthol, methylsalicylate.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/20/2014

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