|Product type||Analgesic heat rub|
|Owner||Johnson & Johnson|
|Produced by||Johnson & Johnson|
|Introduced||1898, first developed in France by Dr. Jules Bengué|
Bengay was developed in France by Dr. Jules Bengué, and brought to America in 1898. The name Bengué was anglicized to Bengay. It was originally produced by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. The product is used topically for adults and children 12 years of age and older, and no more than 3 to 4 times daily. The manufacturer recommends storing the product between 20⁰ and 25⁰C (68⁰ and 77⁰F).
Methyl salicylate is an active ingredient in Bengay, which can be toxic when large doses are administered. In October 2007 in the United States, a teenage athlete overdosed and died from overexposure to methyl salicylate. This was a rare occurrence, in which the person had "more than six times the safe amount of the ingredient in her body."
Bengay and other products such as Flexall, Mentholatum, Capzasin and Icy Hot have a potential to cause first- to third-degree chemical burns. Some people have been hospitalized after receiving such burns. Products containing menthol, methyl salicylate and capsaicin as active ingredients have the potential to cause such burns.
The active ingredients vary by the version of the product.
- Bengay: Original contains 18.3% methyl salicylate and 16% menthol
- Bengay: Muscle Pain/Ultra Strength contains 30% methyl salicylate, 10% menthol, and 4% camphor
- Bengay: Ice Extra Strength contains 10% menthol
- Bengay: Muscle Pain/No Odor contains 15% triethanolamine salicylate
- Bengay: Arthritis Extra Strength 30% methyl salicylate and 8% menthol
Methyl salicylate can be toxic if the cream is used in excess.
3x NBA Champion and 12x NBA All-Star Larry Bird famously stated that he used Bengay not only to help with soreness after games, but in preparation for games as well. Bird stated that he "feel[s] better with Bengay."
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