Generic Name: Menthol Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is menthol used for?

Menthol cream is used for:

  • Relieving minor pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, muscle strains or sprains, backache, bruising, and cramping. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
  • Menthol cream is a topical analgesic. It works by temporarily relieving minor pain.

How should I take menthol?

Use menthol cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

Wash your hands before and right after using menthol cream.

Apply menthol cream to the affected area as directed by your doctor or on the package label.

Do not wrap, bandage, or use a heating pad on the treated area.

Do not apply menthol cream more than 4 times daily.

If you miss a dose of menthol cream, use it as soon as you remember. Continue to use it as directed by your doctor or on the package label.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use menthol cream.

How do I store menthol?

Menthol is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store menthol in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of menthol that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush menthol down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using menthol?

Before taking menthol, tell your doctor:

  • If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • If you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • If you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • If you have cut, scraped, irritated, or damaged skin at the application site

Is it safe to take menthol during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category ___ according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of menthol?

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. No COMMON side effects have been reported with menthol cream. Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur: Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); redness or irritation at the application site.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with menthol?

Menthol may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with menthol?

Menthol may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with menthol?

Menthol may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially: Cut, scraped, irritated or damages skin at the application site.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using menthol.

What is the dose of menthol for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Cough:

  • Menthol topical – oral lozenge:
    • Sore Throat: Dissolve 1 drop slowly in mouth every 2 hours as needed.
    • Cough: Dissolve 1 drop slowly in mouth every hour as needed.

Usual Adult Dose for Pain:

  • Menthol topical 2% gel, 2.5% gel, menthol topical 5% pad, 1.4% pad, and 1.25% pad.
  • Menthol 7% topical gel: Apply topically to affected area 3 to 4 times daily.
  • Menthol topical 6% spray and 10% spray: Spray topically to affected area as needed not to exceed 4 times a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Pruritus:

  • Menthol 0.15% or 0.5% topical lotion: Apply topically to affected area 3 to 4 times daily.

What is the dose of menthol for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cough

  • Menthol topical – oral lozenge: 4 years or older:
  • Sore Throat: Dissolve 1 drop slowly in mouth every 2 hours as needed.
  • Cough: Dissolve 1 drop slowly in mouth every hour as needed.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pain

  • Menthol topical 1.4% pad, 1.25% pad, and menthol 7% topical gel:
  • 12 years or older: Apply topically to affected area 3 to 4 times daily.
  • Menthol topical 5% pad:
  • 10 years or older: Apply topically to affected area 3 to 4 times daily.
  • Menthol topical 6% spray:
  • 13 years or older: Spray topically to affected area as needed not to exceed 4 times a day.
  • Menthol topical 2% topical gel:
  • 2 years or older: Apply topically to affected area 3 to 4 times daily.
  • Menthol topical 2.5% topical gel:
  • 12 years or older: Apply topically to affected area no more than 4 times daily.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pruritus:

  • 2 years and older:
    • Menthol 0.15% or 0.5% topical lotion: Apply topically to affected area 3 to 4 times daily.

How is menthol available?

Menthol is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Ointment, Topical: 27 mg/g.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of menthol, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017