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Dimethyl Sulfoxide

    Synonyms:  Deltan; dimexide; dimethylis sulfoxidum; dimethyl sulphoxide; DMSO; Kemsol; methylsulfoxide; Procipient; Rimso-50; sulphinylbismethane

    Description: Dimethyl sulfoxide occurs as a colorless, viscous liquid, or as colorless crystals that are miscible with water, alcohol, and ether. The material has a slightly bitter taste with a sweet aftertaste, and is odorless, or has a slight odor characteristic of dimethyl sulfoxide. Dimethyl Sulfoxide Dimethyl sulfoxide is extremely hygroscopic, absorbing up to 70% of its own weight in water with evolution of heat.

    Chemical Name: Sulfinylbismethane

    Penetration agent; solvent.

    • Dimethyl sulfoxide is a highly polar substance that is aprotic, therefore lacking acidic and basic properties.

    • It has exceptional solvent properties for both organic and inorganic components, which are derived from its capacity to associate with both ionic species and neutral molecules that are either polar or polarizable.

    • Dimethyl sulfoxide enhances the topical penetration of drugs owing to its ability to displace bound water from the stratum corneum; this is accompanied by the extraction of lipids and configurational changes of proteins.

    • The molecular interactions between dimethyl sulfoxide and the stratum corneum, as a function of depth and time, have been described.

    • Much of the enhancement capacity is lost if the solvent is diluted.

    • Increases in drug penetration have been reported with dimethyl sulfoxide concentrations as low as 15%, but significant increases in permeability generally require concentrations higher than 60–80%.

    • Furthermore, while low molecular weight substances can penetrate quickly into the deep layers of the skin, the appreciable transport of molecules with a molecular weight of more than 3000 is difficult.

    • Dimethyl sulfoxide is now incorporated into a number of regulated products for healthcare and drug delivery applications, including stabilizing product formulations, sustained-release applications, and for the delivery of medical polymers.

    • The use of dimethyl sulfoxide to improve transdermal delivery has been reported for diclofenac, ciclosporin, timolol, and a wide range of other drugs.

    • Dimethyl sulfoxide has also been used in the formulation of an injection containing allopurinol.

    • It has also been investigated for use in an experimental parenteral preparation for the treatment of liver tumors.

    Dimethyl sulfoxide can react with oxidizing materials.

    Dimethyl sulfoxide has low systemic toxicity but causes local toxic effects. It is readily absorbed after injection or after oral or percutaneous administration and is widely distributed throughout the body. Dimethyl sulfoxide acts as a primary irritant on skin, causing redness, burning, itching, and scaling; it also causes urticaria. Systemic symptoms include nausea, vomiting, chills, cramps, and lethargy; dimethyl sulfoxide can also cause increases in intraocular pressure. Administration of dimethyl sulfoxide by any route is followed by a garlic-like odor on the breath

    Observe normal precautions appropriate to the circumstances and quantity of material handled. Dimethyl sulfoxide may cause irritation to the skin. Gloves and eye protection are recommended.