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

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow

What is methyl salicylate & menthol-topical, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Menthol/methylsalicylate is used as a

topical analgesic. 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 brand names are available for methyl salicylate & menthol-topical?

Bengay, Icy Hot, Mentholatum D, Salonpas

Is methyl salicylate & menthol-topical available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for methyl salicylate & menthol-topical?

No

What are the uses for methyl salicylate & menthol-topical?

Menthol and methylsalicylate are used for minor aches and joint and muscle pain due to backache, arthritis, strains, sprains, and bruises.

What are the side effects of methyl salicylate & menthol-topical?

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.

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What is the dosage for methyl salicylate & menthol-topical?

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 or supplements interact with methyl salicylate & menthol-topical?

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.

Is methyl salicylate & menthol-topical safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

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

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

What else should I know about methyl salicylate & menthol-topical?

What preparations of methyl salicylate & menthol-topical are available?

Menthol/methylsalicylate topical products are available in cream, balm, spray, stick, patch, and foam.

How should I keep methyl salicylate & menthol-topical 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.

REFERENCES:

Menthol, methylsalicylate – Prescribing Information.

MedscapeReference.com. Menthol, methylsalicylate.

Quick GuideChronic Pain: Causes and Solutions

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Reviewed on 1/5/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Menthol, methylsalicylate – Prescribing Information.

MedscapeReference.com. Menthol, methylsalicylate.

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