Trolamine salicylate

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Trolamine salicylate
Structural formula of trolamine salicylate
Ball-and-stick model of the component ions of trolamine salicylate
Preferred IUPAC name
2-Hydroxy-N,N-bis(2-hydroxyethyl)ethan-1-aminium 2-hydroxybenzoate
3D model (JSmol)
  • InChI=1S/C7H6O3.C6H15NO3/c8-6-4-2-1-3-5(6)7(9)10;8-4-1-7(2-5-9)3-6-10/h1-4,8H,(H,9,10);8-10H,1-6H2 checkY
  • InChI=1/C7H6O3.C6H15NO3/c8-6-4-2-1-3-5(6)7(9)10;8-4-1-7(2-5-9)3-6-10/h1-4,8H,(H,9,10);8-10H,1-6H2
  • O=C(O)c1ccccc1O.OCCN(CCO)CCO
Molar mass 287.31 g/mol
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Trolamine salicylate (Aspercreme, Aspergel) is an organic compound which is the salt formed between triethanolamine and salicylic acid.

It is used as an ingredient in sunscreens, analgesic creams, and cosmetics. The salicylic acid portion contributes to both the sun protection effect (by absorbing UVB radiation) and to the analgesic effect. The triethanolamine neutralizes the acidity of the salicylic acid. One benefit of this topical analgesic is that it has no odor, in contrast to other topical analgesics such as menthol.

The US Food and Drug Administration has not reviewed any of the over-the-counter products listed in the Daily Med database that contain trolamine salicylate.[1] Also, the producers of trolamine salicylate products have not provided evidence to the FDA in support of claims that this chemical is directly absorbed through the skin into underlying tissue.[2] Due to health concerns, in 2019 the FDA issued a proposed rule classifying the sunscreen use of trolamine salicylate as "not generally recognized as safe and effective.[3] One study reported that trolamine salicylate does penetrate into, and persist within, underlying muscle tissue. The test subjects used either the trolamine salicylate product or a placebo while engaging in an exercise regimen designed to induce muscle soreness. The experimenters observed that those using the trolamine salicylate product exercised longer before reporting the onset of soreness, reported less intense soreness, and reported that their soreness did not last as long as the people who used the placebo.[4]

All of the trolamine salicylate-containing products listed in the two cited references are 10% solutions. These products are sold under various brand names, e.g. Aspercreme, and are marketed as topical analgesics for temporary relief of arthritis, simple backache, muscle strains, and sprains.

Society and culture


This medication has a cost in the U.S. of $13 (USD) for 85 grams topical cream 10%[5]

See also


  1. From DailyMed (a publication of the National Institutes of Health) [1] Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 23 April 2011
  2. Steven Pray, Nonprescription Product Therapeutics, 2nd ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2006), ISBN 0-7817-3498-3, ISBN 978-0-7817-3498-1
  3. FDA News Release, (FDA advances new proposed regulation to make sure that sunscreens are safe and effective) [2] Archived 2019-12-14 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 13 December 2019
  4. "Effect of a Topical 10% Trolamine Salicylate Cream on Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness", Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 20(2), Supplement, #141 (1988), online at Peak Performance website Archived 2011-04-24 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 23 April 2011
  5. "Trolamine salicylate topical Prices, Coupons & Patient Assistance Programs". Archived from the original on 29 August 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.