In contrast, the number of medication-related deaths in the . is estimated at over 200,000 a year, making medications the third or fourth leading cause of death (Pezzalla, 2005). Even common pain relievers called NSAIDs, examples of which include Advil, Motrin, Aleve and aspirin, account for an estimated 7,600 deaths and 76,000 hospitalizations in the . every year (Tamblyn et al, 1997). Taking this into consideration, it is safe to declare that DMSO is among the safest substances in the world today. In fact, the classic test for toxicity -the LD-50 test – measures the lethal dose (LD) at which half of a group of test animals is killed. The LD-50 tests for aspirin and DMSO show that aspirin is seven times more toxic than DMSO (Haley, 2000).
Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chickenpox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route and duration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information). If chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered.