Methyl salicylate is an external analgesic available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that temporarily relieve minor body aches and muscle and joint pain associated with backache, arthritis, strains, sprains, and bruises. Methyl salicylate can be found in topical pain medicines (e.g., creams or ointments) that contain more than one external analgesic active ingredient.
Methyl salicylate is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label. OTC topical pain medicines (creams or ointments) containing methyl salicylate are to be applied only to the skin. Take care to avoid getting the medicine into your eyes and nose.