Bengay vs Icy Hot – Comparison of Side Effects & Uses

Bengay Pain Relieving Cream

It is the brand name of menthol (10 percent) and methyl salicylate (15 percent) topical.

Methyl Salicylate – it contains salicylate, which is an active component of aspirin, therefore, it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory attributes that are effective for joint pain and inflammation.

Menthol – it temporarily relieves muscle and joint pain by stimulating the thermoreceptors in the skin and temporarily blocking the pain sensation. In addition, menthol attaches to kappa opioid receptors (located on dopamine axon terminals) that will cause a numbing effect on the affected area.

Mechanism of Action

Its main active ingredients, menthol, and methyl salicylate (a colorless liquid with a sweet odor), create conflicting sensations of cold and warmth. These sensations help to block the pain signals associated with DOMS.

Note – it has no direct effect on the muscles themselves.

This medication was developed in France by Dr. Jules Bengué and brought to the United States in 1898.

In the present day, it is produced and marketed by the Johnson & Johnson Company, a globally active company with headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Uses

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This over-the-counter topical analgesic is typically used to relieve minor pains and aches of joints and muscles associated with sprains, back pain, and arthritis in adults and children 12 years and older.

Dosage

It may be used up to 4 times daily or as directed on the medicine label.

Note – keep out of reach of children to avoid accidental ingestion. If swallowed, get medical help immediately.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • warmth, redness, burning or stinging on the application site.

Rare side effects may include:

  • skin ulcer;
  • fluid accumulation around the eye;
  • feeling faint;
  • swelling of the tongue/throat;
  • hypersensitivity drug reaction;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • a feeling of throat tightness;
  • trouble breathing;
  • puffy face from water retention;
  • shallow skin ulcer;
  • hives.

Drug InteractionsIs

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • warfarin;
  • anisindione;
  • Miradon (anisindione);
  • Jantoven (warfarin);
  • dicumarol;
  • adderall;
  • Coumadin (warfarin).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Avoid this medication if you are pregnant since it contains a form of aspirin that can have fatal effects on a developing fetus.

Also, there are no well-done studies to determine the safe use of this medicine by nursing women. Tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medicine.

Icy Hot

It is the brand name of a combination of methyl salicylate and menthol.

This medication is available in many forms. For instance, it is available as a gel, spray, cream, and balm. In addition, it can be found as a patch, that comes in two sizes for use on the back.

Uses

It is used for temporary relief of muscle or joint pain caused by sprains, arthritis, bruising, or backaches.

This medication causes a cooling sensation followed by a warming sensation. The warming sensation relaxes, while the cooling sensation dulls the pain.

Dosage

Apply a thin layer of medication to the affected area no more than 4 times per day.

Notes – keep out of your nose, ears, mouth, and eyes (may burn). Use on your skin only.

Don’t apply plastic wrap over any of this medication, unless told to do so by your healthcare provider, because it increases heat and medicine absorption.

Don’t apply heat to the area in the form of hot water bottles, heating pads, or lamps. Doing so substantially increases the risk of serious burns and also absorbing too much medicine.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • a mild cold or burning sensation.

Rare side effects may include:

  • severe burning, pain, swelling, or blistering of the skin;
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • hives.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Miradon (anisindione);
  • anisindione;
  • warfarin;
  • no doz;
  • Coumadin (warfarin);
  • Jantoven;
  • dicumarol.

Pregnancy & Breastfeedings

Avoid this medication if you are pregnant since it contains a form of aspirin that can have fatal effects on a developing fetus.

Also, there are no well-done studies to determine the safe use of this medicine by nursing women. Tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medicine.

Bottom Line – Bengay vs Icy Hot

Bengay is a topical analgesic that contains menthol and methyl salicylate. This medication is typically used for minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with bruises, sprains, arthritis, and other minor aches and discomfort.

Icy Hot (active ingredients – menthol and methyl salicylate) is a medication that is used to relieve dull pain and to relax muscles. This topical medication is available over-the-counter (without a physician’s prescription).

In conclusion, both medications contain the same active ingredients but in different percentages. They also have different inactive ingredients.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3337242/
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/02/05/healthmag.creams/index.html

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