Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) in the Treatment of Trouble Some Genitourinary Disorders: A Preliminary Report

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IN 1964, Jacob, Bischel, and Herschler1 described the rather remarkable medicinal properties of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), a versatile commercial solvent. Although DMSO was synthesized as early as 1867, and today is available as a by-product of the paper-pulp industry, it has so far been used chiefly as an industrial solvent. When applied to intact human skin, the drug penetrates rapidly and exerts a combination of antiinflammatory, local analgesic, and bacteriostatic properties,2, 3 As a result, the drug was widely employed during the last year, before it was withdrawn from the public market, in the treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, including arthritis, bursitis, acute musculoskeletal trauma, scleroderma, Dupuytren’s contracture, and various postoperative pain syndromes.4–6

This report presents the preliminary results of the topical treatment with DMSO of 34 patients with troublesome genitourinary conditions, including interstitial cystitis, Peyronie’s disease, and unexplained pain syndromes.


Liquid dimethyl sulfoxide* was applied liberally to the skin surface over the area of pain with cotton applicators, twice daily by the patient. The solution was initially used in a 50 percent concentration, and was increased by 10 percent every few days until either the symptoms were relieved or an excessive local skin reaction developed. The duration of therapy depended upon the clinical response.


A summary of the results of topical treatment with DMSO for the various genitourinary conditions is presented in Table 1.

Interstitial cystitis. Dimethyl sulfoxide was applied over the suprapubic region twice daily in 12 patients with interstitial cystitis. The diagnosis. . .



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