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  My question deals with the adverse effects of Dimethylsulfoxide.  
  I have learned that it affects the liver, as well as the testes and the
  brain.  Is that true, and if so what causes it to be toxic?  Are
  there any effective alternative drugs for arthritis?
Dear Patrick,
DMSO is an industrial solvent made from coal, oil and lignin (similar to turpentine) that is a by-product of paper manufacturing. When administered to humans, it is absorbed rapidly.  DMSO is reported to penetrate skin, producing local anesthesia and decrease pain.  It has been promoted as  a treatrment for arthritis, but has not been shown to be effective, according to the standards of the Food and Drug Administration.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved DMSO solely for the treatment of interstitial cystitis.
DMSO may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, sedation. Intravenous administration of DMSO may cause damage to liver, kidneys, blood-forming organs and central nervous system.  The solvent properties can damage the different components of a cell leading to impaired function and death.
Arthritis can be treated with nonsteroidal agents e.g. aspirin, motrin etc which reduce pain and prevent inflammation,  Some forms of arthritis can be treated with corticosteroids, gold or other immunosuppressive agents.  I suggest that you discuss the various treatments of arthritis with your primary physician.
This information is presented for educational purposes only.
*keywords: DMSO, hepatitis (drug-induced)

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A related discussion, Response to Patrick regarding DMSO was started.
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