|Product type||Analgesic heat rub|
|Owner||Johnson & Johnson|
|Produced by||Johnson & Johnson|
|Country||Developed in France by Dr. Jules Bengué|
Bengay, spelled Ben-Gay before 1995, is a topical analgesic heat rub, applied to temporarily relieve muscle and joint pain associated with arthritis, bruises, simple backaches, sprains and strains.
Bengay was developed in the Third French Republic by Dr. Jules Bengué (French pronunciation: [ʒyl bɛ̃ɡe]), and brought to America in 1898. The name Bengué was Anglicized and commercialized to Ben-Gay (later Bengay). It was originally produced by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. The product is advised to be 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 classic Bengay and most of its variants, 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 similar 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, including:
- 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 contains 30% methyl salicylate and 8% menthol.
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