Methylene Blue Application to Lessen Pain: Its Analgesic Effect and Mechanism

Seung Won Lee, Hee Chul Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Methylene blue (MB) is a cationic thiazine dye, widely used as a biological stain and chemical indicator. Growing evidence have revealed that MB functions to restore abnormal vasodilation and notably it is implicated even in pain relief. Physicians began to inject MB into degenerated disks to relieve pain in patients with chronic discogenic low back pain (CDLBP), and some of them achieved remarkable outcomes. For osteoarthritis and colitis, MB abates inflammation by suppressing nitric oxide production, and ultimately relieves pain. However, despite this clinical efficacy, MB has not attracted much public attention in terms of pain relief. Accordingly, this review focuses on how MB lessens pain, noting three major actions of this dye: anti-inflammation, sodium current reduction, and denervation. Moreover, we showed controversies over the efficacy of MB on CDLBP and raised also toxicity issues to look into the limitation of MB application. This analysis is the first attempt to illustrate its analgesic effects, which may offer a novel insight into MB as a pain-relief dye.

Original languageEnglish
Article number663650
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 17

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (grant number: NRF-2019R1I1A1A01063196) and supported by BMI Korea Inc. (grant no: Q1829241). BMI Korea Inc. (http://www.bmikr.co.kr), which funded partially this study, is a biotech company and mainly involved in the research and production of medicines and medical instruments. This company always supports basic medical sciences for universities and other institutes. However, this company has never been involved in the study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, the writing of this article, or the decision to submit it for publication.

Funding Information:
Funding. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (grant number: NRF-2019R1I1A1A01063196) and supported by BMI Korea Inc. (grant no: Q1829241). BMI Korea Inc. (http://www.bmikr.co.kr), which funded partially this study, is a biotech company and mainly involved in the research and production of medicines and medical instruments. This company always supports basic medical sciences for universities and other institutes. However, this company has never been involved in the study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, the writing of this article, or the decision to submit it for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Lee and Han.

Keywords

  • anti-inflammation
  • denervation
  • methylene blue
  • pain
  • sodium current

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience

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