Methyl salicylate is a topical counter-irritant used for the symptomatic relief of acute musculoskeletal pain in the muscles, joints, and tendons.
- Brand Names
- Dendracin Neurodendraxcin, Flexall Ultra Plus, Lidopro, Listerine Antiseptic, Medi-derm, Medi-derm With Lidocaine, Medrox, Mentholatum, Rematex, Salonpas Pain Relieving Patch, Tiger Balm, Xoten-C
- Generic Name
- Methyl salicylate
- DrugBank Accession Number
Methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen or wintergreen oil) is an organic ester naturally produced by many species of plants, particularly wintergreens. The compound was first extracted and isolated from plant species Gaultheria procumbens in 1843. It can be manufactured synthetically and it used as a fragrance, in foods, beverages, and liniments. It forms a colorless to yellow or reddish liquid and exhibits a characteristic odor and taste of wintergreen. For acute joint and muscular pain, methyl salicylate is used as a rubefacient and analgesic in deep heating liniments. It is used as a flavoring agent in chewing gums and mints in small concentrations and added as antiseptic in mouthwash solutions.
- Small Molecule
- Approved, Vet approved
- Average: 152.1473
- Chemical Formula
- 2-Hydroxybenzoic acid methyl ester
- Betula oil
- Gaultheria oil
- Methyl 2-hydroxybenzoate
- Methyl o-hydroxybenzoate
- Methyl salicylate
- Natural wintergreen oil
- Oil of wintergreen
- Spicewood Oil
- Sweet birch oil
- Teaberry oil
Ointments or liniments containing methyl salicylate are applied topically as counter irritant for relief of acute pain associated with lumbago,sciatica and rheumatic conditions. Local analgesics for human and veterinary medicine.Reduce drug development failure ratesBuild, train, & validate machine-learning modelswith evidence-based and structured datasets.Build, train, & validate predictive machine-learning models with structured datasets.
- Associated Conditions
- Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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Methyl salicylate relieve musculoskeletal pain in the muscles, joints, and tendons by causing irritation and reddening of the skin due to dilated capillaries and increased blood flow. It is pharmacologically similar to aspirin and other NSAIDs but as a topical agent it primarily acts as a rubefacient and skin irritant. Counter-irritation is believed to cause a soothing sensation of warmth.
- Mechanism of action
Counter-irritation is thought to be effective at alleviating musculoskeletal pain as the irritation of the sensory nerve endings is thought to alter or offset pain in the underlying muscle or joints that are served by the same nerves 5. This is thought to mask the underlying musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. When applied topically, methyl salicylate is thought to penetrate the skin and underlying tissues where it reversibly inhibits cyclooxygenase enzyme and locally and peripherally prevents the production of inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandin and thromboxane A2.
Approximately 12-20% of topically applied methyl salicylate may be systemically absorbed through intact skin within 10 hours of application, and absorption varies with different conditions such as surface area and pH. Dermal bioavailability is in the range of 11.8 – 30.7%. For the assessment of potential oral exposure to salicylates, bioavailability is assumed to be 100% 9.
- Volume of distribution
After absorption, methyl salicylate is distributed throughout most body tissues and most transcellular fluids, primarily by pH dependent passive processes. Salicylate is actively transported by a low-capacity, saturable system out of the CSF across the choroid plexus. The drug readily crosses the placental barrier.
- Protein binding
Degree of albumin binding depends on the plasma concentration of the compound
Minor metabolism may occur in various tissues but hepatic metabolism constitutes the majority of metabolic processes of absorbed methyl salicylate. It is mainly hydrolyzed to salicylic acid via hepatic esterase enzymes. Conjugation with glycine forms salicyluric acid and conjugation with glucuronic forms ester or acyl and ether or phenolic glucuronide, which are the three main metabolites.
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- Route of elimination
Excreted by kidneys as free salicylic acid (10%), salicyluric acid (75%), salicylic phenolic (10%) and acyl glucuronide (5%), and gentisic acid (less than 1%).
The plasma half-life for salicylate is 2 to 3 hr in low doses and about 12 hr at usual anti-inflammatory doses. The half-life of salicylate may be as long as 15 to 30 hr at high therapeutic doses or when there is intoxication.
- Adverse Effects
- Improve decision support & research outcomesWith structured adverse effects data, including: blackbox warnings, adverse reactions, warning & precautions, & incidence rates.Improve decision support & research outcomes with our structured adverse effects data.
Oral LD50 values (mg/kg) for mouse, rat and rabbit are 1110, 887 and 1300, respectively. Oral LD50 values for child and adult human (mg/kg) are 228 and 506, respectively. Although systemic toxicity from topical administration is rare, methyl salicylate can be absorbed in intract skin to cause stimulation of the central nervous system respiratory center, disturbance of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and disturbance of intracellular respiration. Severe toxicity can result in acute lung injury, lethargy, coma, seizures, cerebral edema, and death. In case of salicylate poisoning, the treatment consists of general supportive care, gastrointestinal decontamination with activated charcoal in cases of salicylate ingestion, and monitoring of serum salicylate concentrations. Bicarbonate infusions or hemodialysis can be used to achieve enhanced salicylate elimination 7.
- Not Available
- Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
- Not Available
- Drug Interactions
- This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
Drug Interaction Abciximab The risk or severity of bleeding can be increased when Methyl salicylate is combined with Abciximab. Acarbose Methyl salicylate may increase the hypoglycemic activities of Acarbose. Aceclofenac The therapeutic efficacy of Methyl salicylate can be decreased when used in combination with Aceclofenac. Acenocoumarol Methyl salicylate may increase the anticoagulant activities of Acenocoumarol. Acetaminophen The risk or severity of adverse effects can be increased when Acetaminophen is combined with Methyl salicylate. Acetazolamide The risk or severity of adverse effects can be increased when Methyl salicylate is combined with Acetazolamide. Acetohexamide Methyl salicylate may increase the hypoglycemic activities of Acetohexamide. Acetyldigitoxin The serum concentration of Acetyldigitoxin can be decreased when it is combined with Methyl salicylate. Acetylsalicylic acid The therapeutic efficacy of Methyl salicylate can be decreased when used in combination with Acetylsalicylic acid. Albiglutide Methyl salicylate may increase the hypoglycemic activities of Albiglutide.Identify potential medication risksEasily compare up to 40 drugs with our drug interaction checker.Get severity rating, description, and management advice.Learn more
- Food Interactions
- No interactions found.
- Drug product information from 10+ global regionsOur datasets provide approved product information including:dosage, form, labeller, route of administration, and marketing period.Access drug product information from over 10 global regions.
- Active Moieties
Name Kind UNII CAS InChI Key Salicylic acid unknown O414PZ4LPZ 69-72-7 YGSDEFSMJLZEOE-UHFFFAOYSA-N
- Over the Counter Products
Name Dosage Strength Route Labeller Marketing Start Marketing End Region Image Abejas y Viboras Roll On Liquid 10 g/100g Topical MENPER DISTRIBUTORS INC. 2021-03-31 Not applicable Activ-Rub Liniment Liniment Topical WINWA MEDICAL SDN. BHD. 2020-09-08 Not applicable ANTIFLAM RUB Cream Topical PRIME PHARMACEUTICAL SDN. BHD. 2020-09-08 Not applicable ANTIPAIN LINIMENT 25% Liniment Topical ZONTRON PHARMACEUTICALS SDN. BHD. 2020-09-08 Not applicable Aspi-Rub Pain Reliever Spray 23 g/100g Topical AspiRub Enterprises LLC 2014-08-29 Not applicable Balsamo de Ubre Mascura Ointment 10.5 g/90g Topical MENPER DISTRIBUTORS INC. 2011-05-10 Not applicable Balsamo de Ubre Mascura Ointment 10.5 g/90g Topical Pharmalab Enterprises Inc. 2011-05-10 2011-05-11 Balsamo de Vaca Mascura Ointment 10.5 g/100g Topical MENPER DISTRIBUTORS INC. 2011-05-10 Not applicable Bumooly-S Solution 3 g/100mL Transdermal Scott Holdings Co., Ltd. 2014-09-25 Not applicable Bumooly-S Solution 3 g/100mL Transdermal Scott Holdings Co., Ltd. 2014-05-16 Not applicable
- Mixture Products
Name Ingredients Dosage Route Labeller Marketing Start Marketing End Region Image 1st Medxpatch With Lidocaine 4% Methyl salicylate (20 g/1) + Capsaicin (0.025 g/1) + Levomenthol (5 g/1) + Lidocaine (4 g/1) Patch Topical 1ST MEDX LLC 2018-03-15 Not applicable 701 Dieda Zhengtong Yaogao Medicated Methyl salicylate (10 g/1) + Levomenthol (8 g/1) + Synthetic camphor (3.1 g/1) Plaster Topical; Transdermal GUANGZHOU BAIYUNSHAN PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. BAIYUNSHAN HEJIGONG PHARMACEUTICAL FACTORY 2001-10-15 Not applicable AA Top Medicated Methyl salicylate (0.05 g/1mL) + Levomenthol (0.1 g/1mL) Oil Topical Albert Max, Inc. 2018-02-01 Not applicable Advanced Antiseptic Methyl salicylate (.060 kg/100L) + Eucalyptol (.092 kg/100L) + Levomenthol (.042 kg/100L) + Thymol (.064 kg/100L) Mouthwash Oral Demoulas Supermarkets, Inc. 2010-07-22 Not applicable Advanced Antiseptic Methyl salicylate (.060 mL/100L) + Eucalyptol (.042 mL/100L) + Levomenthol (.042 mL/100L) + Thymol (.064 mL/100L) Mouthwash Oral Wakfern Food Corporation 2010-11-24 Not applicable Advanced Antiseptic Citrus Methyl salicylate (.060 mL/100L) + Eucalyptol (.092 mL/100L) + Levomenthol (.042 mL/100L) + Thymol (.042 mL/100L) Mouthwash Oral Drug Mart 1991-06-15 Not applicable Advanced Antiseptic Citrus Methyl salicylate (.060 mL/100L) + Eucalyptol (.092 mL/100L) + Levomenthol (.042 mL/100L) + Thymol (.042 mL/100L) Mouthwash Oral H.E.B. 2010-10-15 Not applicable Advanced Citrus Methyl salicylate (.060 kg/100L) + Eucalyptol (.092 kg/100L) + Levomenthol (.042 kg/100L) + Thymol (.064 kg/100L) Mouthwash Oral Walmart Stores 2010-07-22 Not applicable Advanced Citrus Antiseptic Methyl salicylate (.060 mL/100L) + Eucalyptol (.092 mL/100L) + Levomenthol (.042 mL/100L) + Thymol (.064 mL/100L) Mouthwash Oral Publix Supermarkets, Inc. 2001-05-03 Not applicable Ageless Pain Relief Methyl salicylate (140 mg/1mL) + Levomenthol (70 mg/1mL) Cream Topical Isagenix International, Llc 2011-04-23 Not applicable
- Unapproved/Other Products
Name Ingredients Dosage Route Labeller Marketing Start Marketing End Region Image 1st Medxpatch With Lidocaine 4%-rx Methyl salicylate (20 1/1) + Capsaicin (0.0375 1/1) + Levomenthol (5 1/1) + Lidocaine (4 1/1) Patch Topical 1ST MEDX LLC 2018-03-15 Not applicable 1st Medxpatch With Lidocaine 4%-rx Methyl salicylate (20 1/1) + Capsaicin (0.0375 1/1) + Levomenthol (5 1/1) + Lidocaine (4 1/1) Patch Topical Direct Rx 2020-10-14 Not applicable Adazin Methyl salicylate (1 g/100g) + Benzocaine (2 g/100g) + Capsaicin (0.035 g/100g) + Lidocaine (2 g/100g) Cream Topical Sterling Knight Pharmaceuticals, Llc 2014-12-03 2018-10-01 Antiphlamine Coin Plaster Methyl salicylate (5.541 mg/0.2832g) + DL-alpha-Tocopherol (0.308 mg/0.2832g) + Diphenhydramine (0.246 mg/0.2832g) + Levomenthol (2.769 mg/0.2832g) + Nonivamide (0.046 mg/0.2832g) + Peppermint oil (0.693 mg/0.2832g) + Synthetic camphor (1.108 mg/0.2832g) Patch Topical Hanul Trading Co., Ltd. 2016-10-10 Not applicable Antiseptic Rinse Methyl salicylate (.060 kg/100L) + Eucalyptol (.092 kg/100L) + Levomenthol (.042 kg/100L) + Thymol (.064 kg/100L) Mouthwash Oral Meijer 2006-08-08 Not applicable Comfort EZ Extra Strength Pain Relief Patch Methyl salicylate (20 g/100g) + Levomenthol (1 g/100g) + Lidocaine (4 g/100g) Patch Topical Simple Diagnostics. Inc. 2015-03-17 2015-03-17 Comfort EZ Extra StrengthTransdermal Patch Methyl salicylate (2 g/100g) + Levomenthol (1 g/100g) + Lidocaine hydrochloride (4 g/100g) Patch Topical Simple Diagnostics. Inc. 2015-03-23 2015-03-24 Comfort EZ Pain Relief Patch Methyl salicylate (16 g/100g) + Levomenthol (2 g/100g) + Lidocaine (4 g/100g) Patch Topical Simple Diagnostics. Inc. 2015-03-09 2015-03-09 Dolor-parche With Lidocaine-RX Methyl salicylate (20 g/1) + Capsaicin (0.035 g/1) + Levomenthol (5 g/1) + Lidocaine (0.5 g/1) Patch Topical Two Hip Consulting, Llc 2013-07-31 2016-05-31 Doloracin Rx Methyl salicylate (20 g/100mL) + Capsaicin (0.035 g/100mL) + Levomenthol (5 g/100mL) Cream Topical Two Hip Consulting, Llc 2013-08-11 2016-04-11
- Drug Categories
- Acids, Carbocyclic
- Antirheumatic Agents
- Benzene Derivatives
- Biological Products
- Complex Mixtures
- Compounds used in a research, industrial, or household setting
- Hydroxy Acids
- Pharmaceutical Preparations
- Plant Preparations
- Chemical TaxonomyProvided by Classyfire
- This compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as o-hydroxybenzoic acid esters. These are benzoic acid esters where the benzene ring is ortho-substituted with a hydroxy group.
- Organic compounds
- Super Class
- Benzene and substituted derivatives
- Sub Class
- Benzoic acids and derivatives
- Direct Parent
- o-Hydroxybenzoic acid esters
- Alternative Parents
- Salicylic acid and derivatives / Benzoyl derivatives / 1-hydroxy-4-unsubstituted benzenoids / 1-hydroxy-2-unsubstituted benzenoids / Vinylogous acids / Methyl esters / Monocarboxylic acids and derivatives / Organooxygen compounds / Organic oxides / Hydrocarbon derivatives
- 1-hydroxy-2-unsubstituted benzenoid / 1-hydroxy-4-unsubstituted benzenoid / Aromatic homomonocyclic compound / Benzoyl / Carboxylic acid derivative / Carboxylic acid ester / Hydrocarbon derivative / Methyl ester / Monocarboxylic acid or derivatives / O-hydroxybenzoic acid ester
- Molecular Framework
- Aromatic homomonocyclic compounds
- External Descriptors
- salicylates, benzoate ester (CHEBI:31832) / a small molecule (CPD-6442)
- Affected organisms
- Humans and other mammals
- CAS number
- InChI Key
- IUPAC Name
- methyl 2-hydroxybenzoate
- General References
- He YY, Yan Y, Zhang HF, Lin YH, Chen YC, Yan Y, Wu P, Fang JS, Yang SH, Du GH: Methyl salicylate 2-O-beta-d-lactoside alleviates the pathological progression of pristane-induced systemic lupus erythematosus-like disease in mice via suppression of inflammatory response and signal transduction. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016 Sep 29;10:3183-3196. eCollection 2016. [Article]
- Xin W, Huang C, Zhang X, Xin S, Zhou Y, Ma X, Zhang D, Li Y, Zhou S, Zhang D, Zhang T, Du G: Methyl salicylate lactoside inhibits inflammatory response of fibroblast-like synoviocytes and joint destruction in collagen-induced arthritis in mice. Br J Pharmacol. 2014 Jul;171(14):3526-38. doi: 10.1111/bph.12715. [Article]
- Mason L, Moore RA, Edwards JE, McQuay HJ, Derry S, Wiffen PJ: Systematic review of efficacy of topical rubefacients containing salicylates for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. BMJ. 2004 Apr 24;328(7446):995. Epub 2004 Mar 19. [Article]
- Higashi Y, Kiuchi T, Furuta K: Efficacy and safety profile of a topical methyl salicylate and menthol patch in adult patients with mild to moderate muscle strain: a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Clin Ther. 2010 Jan;32(1):34-43. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2010.01.016. [Article]
- Derry S, Matthews PR, Wiffen PJ, Moore RA: Salicylate-containing rubefacients for acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Nov 26;(11):CD007403. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007403.pub3. [Article]
- Moore RA, Derry S, McQuay HJ: Topical analgesics for acute and chronic pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(7). pii: CD008609. [Article]
- Thompson TM, Toerne T, Erickson TB: Salicylate Toxicity from Genital Exposure to a Methylsalicylate-Containing Rubefacient. West J Emerg Med. 2016 Mar;17(2):181-3. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2016.1.29262. Epub 2016 Mar 2. [Article]
- FDA SALONPAS® Pain Relief Patch Clinical Review [Link]
- Norwegian Food Safety Authority: Methyl salicylate risk review [Link]
- Download (55.2 KB)
- Clinical Trials
Phase Status Purpose Conditions Count 4 Completed Treatment Chronic Lower Back Pain (CLBP) 1 4 Completed Treatment Sub-acute Back Pain 1 4 Unknown Status Treatment Chronic Lower Back Pain (CLBP) 1 3 Not Yet Recruiting Treatment Migraine 1 2 Completed Supportive Care Pain / Peripheral neuropathy 1 2 Not Yet Recruiting Prevention Gonorrhea 1 2 Withdrawn Treatment Pain, Acute 1 2, 3 Withdrawn Treatment Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection(HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) / Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome / Immune Reconstitution Syndrome / Tuberculosis (TB) 1 1 Completed Treatment Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) 1 1 Completed Treatment Pain 1
- Not Available
- Not Available
- Dosage Forms
Form Route Strength Aerosol, spray Percutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Aerosol, spray Cutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Ointment Enteral Cream Topical Liniment Topical Rinse Oral Mouthwash Oral Spray Topical 23 g/100g Mouthwash Buccal Ointment Topical 10.5 g/90g Solution Topical Lotion Topical Oil Percutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Cream Topical 8 g Ointment Cutaneous Powder Topical Solution Transdermal 3 g/100mL Spray Topical 60 mg/1mL Oil Lotion Topical 10 g/1g Lotion Topical 10 g/100mL Spray Topical Gel Transdermal Cream Topical 7 g Liniment Topical Gel Topical Liquid Dental Salve Topical Solution Buccal; Oral Liquid Respiratory (inhalation) Kit Oral; Topical Liquid Topical 15 g/100g Crystal Topical Cream Topical 250 mg/1mL Ointment Topical 100 mg/1mL Patch Cutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Solution, concentrate Oral Paste Topical Stick Topical .25 g/1g Patch Transdermal 58.3 mg/13.4g Liquid Topical 980 mg/1mL Plaster Topical 1 g/1 Oil Topical 60 g/100mL Ointment Topical 13.5 g/100g Kit Topical Stick Topical Ointment Topical 10.5 g/100g Ointment Topical 15 g/100g Ointment Topical 12 g/100g Ointment Topical 15 g/113g Ointment Topical 12 g/113g Oil Topical 25 g/100mL Oil Topical 105 mg/1mL Solution Topical Inhalant Nasal Cream Topical 250 mg/1g Ointment Topical Spray Oral Cream Topical Jelly Nasal Gel Topical 105 mg/1g Lotion Topical 20 g/100g Kit Oral Liquid Topical Liquid Oral Patch Topical Liquid Cutaneous Patch Topical; Transdermal Patch Percutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Plaster Liquid Topical 40 g/100mL Ointment Topical Lotion Topical 0.95 % Gel Percutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Spray Cutaneous Aerosol, foam Percutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Ointment Percutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Aerosol, spray Topical Plaster Topical Liquid Cutaneous; Topical; Transdermal Liquid Topical 10 g/100g Patch Topical 10 mg/100mg Patch Topical 10 g/100g Mouthwash Dental Emulsion Topical 10 % Lotion Topical 0.95 % w/v Cream Topical 100 mg/1g Cream Topical 10 g/100g Plaster Transdermal Patch Transdermal Ointment Topical 15 mg/100g Ointment Topical 5 mg/100g Cream Cutaneous Aerosol Topical Gel Topical 100 mg/1g Ointment Topical 10 g Ointment Topical 4 g Ointment Topical 15.75 g/150g Oil Transdermal Oil Topical Liquid Topical Plaster Topical; Transdermal Cream Topical 10 g/100mL Patch Transdermal 160 mg/6.8g Poultice Transdermal 160 mg/17g Patch Transdermal 105 mg/14g Poultice Transdermal 105 mg/17.5g Liquid Topical 200 mg/1g Solution Oral Oil Topical 100 ml/100ml Oil Topical 35 ml/100ml Oil Topical 36 ml/100ml Emulsion Topical 5 ml/100ml Cream Topical 14 %w/w Emulsion Topical Cream Topical 12 %w/w
- Not Available
Patent Number Pediatric Extension Approved Expires (estimated) Region US8809615 No 2014-08-19 2030-01-03 US9233184 No 2016-01-12 2027-08-01
- Experimental Properties
Property Value Source melting point (°C) -8.6 MSDS boiling point (°C) 220-224 MSDS water solubility Slightly soluble MSDS logP 2.5 MSDS
- Predicted Properties
Property Value Source Water Solubility 5.73 mg/mL ALOGPS logP 2.07 ALOGPS logP 2.32 ChemAxon logS -1.4 ALOGPS pKa (Strongest Acidic) 9.72 ChemAxon pKa (Strongest Basic) -4.3 ChemAxon Physiological Charge 0 ChemAxon Hydrogen Acceptor Count 2 ChemAxon Hydrogen Donor Count 1 ChemAxon Polar Surface Area 46.53 Å2 ChemAxon Rotatable Bond Count 2 ChemAxon Refractivity 40.06 m3·mol-1 ChemAxon Polarizability 14.98 Å3 ChemAxon Number of Rings 1 ChemAxon Bioavailability 1 ChemAxon Rule of Five Yes ChemAxon Ghose Filter No ChemAxon Veber's Rule No ChemAxon MDDR-like Rule No ChemAxon
- Predicted ADMET Features
- Not Available
- Mass Spec (NIST)
- Not Available
Drug created on November 30, 2015 19:10 / Updated on October 22, 2021 23:18