- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: methyl salicylate and menthol
Brand Names: Bengay, Icy Hot, Mentholatum D, Salonpas
Drug Class: Analgesics, Topical
What is methyl salicylate/menthol, and what is it used for?
Menthol/methylsalicylate is used as a topical analgesic for treating minor aches and joint and muscle pain due to backache, arthritis, strains, sprains, and bruises. It works by first cooling the skin then warming it up, providing a topical anesthetic and analgesic action on the affected area. The cooling and warning action may interfere with transmission of pain signals through nerves.
What are the side effects of methyl salicylate/menthol?
Side effects of menthol/methylsalicylate are:
- 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.
What is the dosage for methyl salicylate/menthol?
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.
Which drugs interact with methyl salicylate/menthol?
Menthol/methylsalicylate topical products should be used with caution with blood thinning medications like warfarin, 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 and breastfeeding
There are no adequate studies done on menthol and methylsalicylate to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.
What else should I know about methyl salicylate/menthol?
What preparations of methyl salicylate and menthol are available?
Menthol/methylsalicylate topical products are available in cream, balm, spray, stick, patch, and foam.
How should I keep methyl salicylate and menthol stored?
Menthol/methylsalicylate creams and patch are stored between 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F). Balms are stored between 15 C to 30 C (59F to 86 F). Sprays, sticks, and foams should be stored away from heat and direct sunlight.
Menthol and methylsalicylate (Bengay, Icy Hot, Mentholatum D, Salonpas) is a medication used to treatment of minor aches and joint pain due to arthritis, sprains, strains, bruises, and backaches. Side effects of menthol/methylsalicylate are stinging, burning, hypersensitivity, redness, and tingling sensation of skin. Consult your doctor before taking if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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MedscapeReference.com. Menthol, methylsalicylate.