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HomeUncategorizedmethylsalicylate & menthol (Bengay, Icy Hot): Uses & Side Effects

methylsalicylate & menthol (Bengay, Icy Hot): Uses & Side Effects

What is methyl salicylate and menthol, 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 and menthol?

Bengay, Icy Hot, Mentholatum D, Salonpas

Is methyl salicylate and menthol available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for methyl salicylate and menthol?


What are the uses for methyl salicylate and menthol?

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 and menthol?

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


Medically speaking, the term “myalgia” refers to what type of pain?
See Answer

What is the dosage for methyl salicylate and 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 or supplements interact with methyl salicylate and menthol?

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.

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Is methyl salicylate and menthol 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

What else should I know about methyl salicylate and 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.


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