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Be Cautious with Muscle Cream Usage

Unfortunately it has taken the accidental death of Arielle Newman, a high school track star from NYC, to open our eyes about proper muscle cream usage.

Newman died from an accidental overdose of methyl salicylate, which is the wintergreen-scented ingredient found in liniments like BenGay, Icy Hot and Tiger Balm. Reports are saying that Newman put the muscle cream on her legs between track meets and also used adhesive pads containing the anti-inflammatory, plus an unspecified third product. I have used my fair share of these muscle creams to ease aches from working out, but I had no idea there were a possibility to overdose on the stuff.

Dr. Thomas Kearney, who directs a poison control center and is a professor of pharmacy at the University of California at San Francisco, said in in the report on Yahoo News that topical application of methyl salicylate can be hazardous if it is smeared over 40 percent of the body, if someone has a skin condition or if another medication interacts negatively with the products. Also as the labels warn, contact your doctor if condition worsens or symptoms persist for more than 7 days. So no matter how sore your legs are from doing a power session of squats and lunges, use caution when using products containing methyl salicylate and be conservative with how much you apply.

...My heart and thoughts goes out to Newman's family.


Join The Conversation
sahayra sahayra 9 years
I had no idea. I'll think twice before slathering.
ragus ragus 9 years
I heard about something similar with a numbing creame called BLT (stands for Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Tetracaine) (used for procedures like laser hair removal) ~just breaks your heart
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 10 years
wow that's terrible, poor kid~
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
This is terrible, I had no idea!! Thanks for the info Fit, and I am so sorry for the family who lost their daughter.
discocactus discocactus 10 years
I heard about this story and my sympathies go out to the girl's family. What I hope comes from this is that people realize that over-the-counter medications can still harm you if you don't follow the directions. You can overdose to the point that it would kill you, or put stress on your body like your stomach (not to mention kidneys and liver) with things like ibuprofen. Also, many people take OTC meds like cough syrup for an extended period of time, ignoring the fact that if you've been coughing and wheezing for more than seven days you probably have something you need to see a doctor for. Bottom line: OTC meds can harm you just as much as controlled substances.
SU3 SU3 10 years
Very sad. I couldn't believe it... My hearts and thoughts go out to that family.
Cheetah521 Cheetah521 10 years
Wow, that's horrible. I had no idea you could use too much of that. I used to use IcyHot (both the patches and the cream) on my knee, never even thought that I could use too much of it or too often. My thoughts go out to her family and friends.
Seraphim Seraphim 10 years
wow, sad how something that tragic gets the word out :(
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
Oh wow! This is good to know. My boyfriend is using those type of patches his doctor gave him for his shoulder after an accident. They don't seem to work anymore. I will pass this on to him!
phire phire 10 years
My love goes out to the Newmans. Sorry for flooding the topic. the (heart)i was trying to type made it look like a tag. here's a post of an alternative to creams and for those who want something else.
phire phire 10 years
My <3 goes out to the Newmans. i guess my first posting didn't go through. fr those trying to find alternatives to creams, here's a link to a posting about an alternative.
phire phire 10 years
<3 to the Newmans. Here's my latest post for muscle relief for people trying to steer away from creams now.
tshellyedwards tshellyedwards 10 years
Wow, that's so sad. My heart also goes out to the family. Thanks for letting us know about that, FitSugar. I personally would have never guessed that could happen.
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
After a particulary strenuous day of yard work a few weeks ago, I covered my upper body in this stuff...will think twice before doing that again. I saw an article about her and just couldn't believe that this kind of stuff could kill someone.
kungfubunni kungfubunni 10 years
whoa! that's crazy!
yomama yomama 10 years
:-( I use Tiger Balm, but not often enough to have it be a grave concern, but I am glad to know that too much can be fatal.
doubleuendy doubleuendy 10 years
geez that is really unfortunate.
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