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Methyl Salicylate

Related Treatments

Methyl salicylate is an external analgesic available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that temporarily relieves minor body aches and muscle and joint pain associated with backache, arthritis, strains, sprains, and bruises. Methyl salicylate can be found in topical pain medicines (creams or ointments) that contain more than one external analgesic active ingredient.

Methyl salicylate is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to label directions. OTC topical pain medicines (creams or ointments) containing methyl salicylate are to be applied only to the skin. Take care to avoid getting the medicine into your eyes and nose.

*Methyl salicylate may not be contained in all products sold under these brands. Please read the OTC Drug Facts label carefully for active ingredient information for specific products.

Tips for Medicines with Methyl Salicylate

When using methyl salicylate-containing medicines, it is important to know that:

  • You should not use more of the medicine or for longer than the label says.
  • They should only be applied to your skin.
  • You should not tightly bandage the treated area. A tight bandage can trap too much of the active ingredient against your skin.
  • You should not use a heating pad on the treated area.

Do not use if:

  • You have an open wound or damaged skin.

Ask a healthcare professional before use if:

  • You are allergic to aspirin or salicylates.
  • You have redness over the affected area
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Stop use and ask a doctor if:

  • Your condition gets worse or if symptoms last for more than seven days.
  • Your symptoms clear up and occur again within a few days.
  • Excessive skin irritation occurs.
  • You accidentally swallow the medicine. Immediately contact a doctor or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.

If you have questions about any of the medicines you are taking or if you have any unexpected side effects, talk to a healthcare professional. And of course, keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

Tips for Parents

  • Do not use an OTC medicine containing methyl salicylate on a child under the age of 12 if the child has arthritis-like conditions.
  • Talk to a healthcare professional before using an OTC medicine containing methyl salicylate on a child under the age of 12.

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