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Menthol is an organic compound with various uses. Menthol can be procured from natural elements such as peppermint, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, corn mint, and other mint oils, or manufactured synthetically. For medical purposes, menthol is lauded for its anesthetic and anti-irritant qualities. Menthol may help relive irritable bowel symptoms, help to treat colic, contact dermatitis, hives, and other various conditions. Additionally, menthol is sometimes used to relieve muscle spasms and to treat a wide array of respiratory illnesses.


Menthol has so many uses that it comes in multiple forms, some for external use only, and some for internal use. Your doctor will advise you on which form is right for your condition. Be sure that you understand exactly what form of menthol you will be using and be crystal clear on whether your prescription is for internal or external use. If you do not understand anything about your treatment or prescription, ask your doctor for clarification and follow up with questions at your compounding pharmacy. Never take or use any drug or supplement unless you know exactly how to use it.

Topical (external) uses for menthol are often given as creams, patches, and ointments. Your compounding pharmacist will assist you and craft a form of delivery that meets with your doctor's recommendations and instructions.


Some may experience no side effects. Other patients or users may experience one or more side effects. Common side effects seen with menthol are:

For Sprays:

  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Sneezing
  • Runny Nose
  • Dryness

If any of the above or any other side effects are experienced, seek medical assistance if you feel it is needed, and certainly if any side effects are worsening and/or lingering.

Other side effects may present depending on what form of delivery of menthol you are using or taking. Check with your doctor for a complete list of side effects relevant to you, your condition, and your form of administration.

Serious Side Effects:

Watch for possible severe and serious side effects and see your doctor right away if you experience anything listed below, or anything that feels severe.

Pounding Heartbeat
Mood Swings
Abnormal Sweating
Abnormal Weakness

Allergic Reaction:

If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, get emergency medical assistance at once. Some possible signs of an allergic reaction are listed below. Note this is a partial list only.

  • Swelling (face, throat, tongue)
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Trouble Breathing

NOTE: There are many other side effects not listed above or in this brief overview. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects of all forms of menthol and make an informed decision, with your doctor, as to whether menthol is safe for you use. Ask your doctor to explain what to watch for and ask questions if you don't understand anything. Knowledge is important when introducing any new drug into your body. Be prepared for side effects and know how to respond if you experience any.


All patients considering the use of menthol should first consult with their physician before beginning use.

As there are so many uses for menthol and so many possibly forms of administration, there could also be many contraindications. Ask your doctor about all possible contraindications for the use of menthol that could be germane to your condition.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA