The over-the-counter pain-relieving creams, lotions and patches are linked to 43 cases of burns on the application site, the Food and Drug Administration said in a safety announcement. The cases were identified in a search of the FDA’s adverse event reporting system and medical literature.
The majority of second- and third-degree burns occurred with the use of products containing menthol as the single active ingredient or having both menthol and methyl salicylate, the FDA said. Few cases involved a capsaicin-containing product. Patients who experience pain, swelling or blistering of the skin should stop using the product, the agency said.
“When applied to the skin, the products produce a local sensation of warmth or coolness; they should not cause pain or skin damage,” the FDA said in the announcement.
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