50 years ago, a promising agent pulled | Science News

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50 Years Ago

50 years ago, a promising agent pulled

Excerpt from the January 8, 1966 issue of Science News Letter

3:00pm, January 5, 2016

DMSO future dimmed — Clinical testing of the experimental drug [DMSO, short for dimethyl sulfoxide] was halted by voluntary agreement of the drug’s sponsors … the action was taken because of undesirable side effects that were observed in the eyes of laboratory animals … Telegrams have been sent to approximately 1,000 doctors who have been testing this compound on many human patients, mainly for ... arthritis and bursitis pain.  — Science News LetterJanuary 8, 1966


DMSO, a by-product of papermaking, was sold in the early 1960s as a cure for headaches, limb pain, earaches and colds. The compound easily penetrates skin and

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