MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) Dietary Supplement

  • 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 Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane ), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is also called dimethyl sulfone, DMSO2, methyl sulfone, and many other names. MSM is an organic sulfur found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk as well as the urine of animals. It is an oxidation product of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and a source of sulfur for producing the amino acids methionine and cysteine. MSM is a water soluble white, odorless, crystalline compound that contains 34% elemental sulfur.

Methylsulfonylmethane reduces pain, inflammation, and allergic reactions. It also has wound healing, dermatologic, and exercise performance increasing effects.

Where can I buy MSM supplements?

You can find MSM herbal supplements in most pharmacies and health food stores.

What are the uses for MSM herbal supplements?

MSM has many uses. It is possibly effective for treating osteoarthritis, hemorrhoids, and rosacea, and may reduce the risk of developing exercise related muscle damage.

It also is used to treat:

What are the side effects of MSM supplements?

Common side effects associated with MSM include:

Other side effects include:

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What doses of MSM supplements are available? How should I take them?

  • Typical doses adult dosages range from 500 to 8,000 mg.
  • MSM supplements may be taken daily with or after meals.

Which drugs or supplements interact with MSM?

There are no drug interactions listed for methylsulfonylmethane.

Are MSM supplements safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Use of MSM during pregnancy has not been adequately evaluated.
  • It is not known whether MSM is excreted in breast milk.

What other names are used for MSM (brands)?

Doctor's Best MSM, Natures Way MSM, and Now Foods MSM are brand names available for MSM.

What else should I know about MSM supplements?

What preparations of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) are available?
  • Methylsulfonylmethane is available as tablets and powder, and is a component of many herbal products.
How should I keep methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) stored?
  • Methylsulfonylmethane should be stored at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).

MSM and other herbal supplements are not approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment medical diseases or conditions. Talk with your doctor or other health care professional, or a pharmacist before using this product.

Reference: MSM (Herbs/Suppl). Medscape.
<https://reference.medscape.com/drug/dimethyl-sulfone-dmso2-msm-344621>

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Summary

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an herbal supplement made from an organic sulfur found in foods (grains, milk, vegetables, and fruits), and the urine of animals. MSM also is referred to as Doctor's Best MSM, Natures Way MSM, Now Foods MSM, dimethyl sulfone, and DMSO2. It is thought to be helpful in treating a variety of medical diseases, conditions, and other health problems, for example, it may be used to treat:

Side effects of MSM supplements include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, swelling, fatigue, insomnia, headache, and difficulty concentrating. MSM supplements are available in ranges of 500 mg to 800 mg. You can take the supplements daily with or after meals. MSM doesn't have any drug interactions listed. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your OB/GYN or Midwife before taking supplements with MSM. MSM and other herbal supplements are not approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment medical diseases or conditions. Talk with your doctor or other health care professional, or a pharmacist before using this product.

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Reviewed on 6/13/2017
References
Reference: MSM (Herbs/Suppl). Medscape.
<https://reference.medscape.com/drug/dimethyl-sulfone-dmso2-msm-344621>

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