Updated: May 8
The remarkable solvent properties of dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) have been exploited in many ways to the advantage of drug action. It is used as a highly penetrating solvent vehicle that improves the topical efficiency of the dissolved drug, e.g. corticosteroids. In addition, however, it acts in an unknown way to reduce pain, pruritus, and inflammation and to benefit the process of healing when applied topically. It is therefore of value in eczema and dermatitis and for symptomatic relief of strains, sprains, bruises, and damage to muscles, tendons, and bones.
The material is applied gently to clean dry areas with a brush two or three times daily and is absorbed rapidly. For a horse 10-15ml per application is recommended for a 5-10 day period with an absolute maximum of 14 days.
The drug is contraindicated in food-producing animals and in chronic conditions. Its topical use may be followed by signs of local irritation, which occasionally progress to vesication. Long-term high-dosage experiments have caused changes in the refractive index of the lens of the eye in rabbits, dogs, and pigs.