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Ontario Poison Centre

Muscle Creams

Muscle Creams


Muscle creams and rubs are used to soothe aches and pains in adults. They usually contains one or some of the following active ingredients which can be toxic if swallowed:

  • Methyl salicylate (AKA “wintergreen oil”). Contains very high concentration of aspirin.
  • Camphor: can cause seizures.
  • Menthol: can cause severe drowsiness.
  • Eucalyptus: can cause severe drowsiness.

Poisoning Risk

Poisonous if swallowed: severity dependent on amount.

Low in taste amounts.

High in larger amounts.

Expected Symptoms

  • Can range from mild upset stomach to severe symptoms (aspirin poisoning, seizures).

Home Treatment

  • Provide something to drink for dilution.
  • For eye exposures, rinse eyes for at least 15 minutes with lukewarm water.
  • Call the Poison Centre for further advice.


  • This product should be locked up and out of sight with all of your other household medicines.
  • Always keep this product in its original container.
  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



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