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Article: Methylene Blue

Methylene Blue - HealthBrew Clinic

Methylene Blue

Methylene Blue has a storied past that dates back to 1876 when it was initially synthesized as an aniline dye. Its vivid hue soon found applications beyond textile dyeing, including in medicine. Its primary FDA-approved use is in treating methemoglobinemia, but burgeoning research suggests its efficacy in enhancing cognitive function, elevating mood, and even improving erectile dysfunction.

FDA-Approved Use: Methemoglobinemia

Methylene Blue is FDA-approved for the treatment of methemoglobinemia, a serious condition where an abnormal form of hemoglobin—methemoglobin—accumulates, hindering the blood's capacity to deliver oxygen. In this condition, Methylene Blue acts as an electron acceptor that facilitates the enzyme-catalyzed conversion of methemoglobin back into its functional form, hemoglobin.

Mechanism of Action

FDA-Approved Use

For methemoglobinemia, Methylene Blue's key mechanism involves acting as an electron acceptor in the NADPH-dependent methemoglobin reductase pathway, catalyzing the conversion of methemoglobin to functional hemoglobin.

Cognitive Performance

For cognitive enhancement, Methylene Blue is theorized to bolster mitochondrial function. It optimizes the electron transport chain, thereby augmenting ATP production and increasing cellular energy. A study demonstrated that subjects receiving Methylene Blue showed a 7% improvement in cognitive tasks.

Mood Enhancement

Methylene Blue may act as a non-selective inhibitor of monoamine oxidase, leading to increased levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain. A study indicated a 13% improvement in depressive symptoms after 4 weeks of treatment.

Erectile Dysfunction

For erectile dysfunction, Methylene Blue is speculated to improve nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. This facilitates enhanced blood flow to penile tissues. Preliminary research points to a 20% improvement in erectile function scores.

Side Effects and Safety Profile

Common Side Effects

These can include gastrointestinal disturbances, dizziness, and notably, the temporary staining of bodily fluids like urine and sweat.

Blood Pressure and Thickening

At low therapeutic doses (5-10mg), there is currently no solid evidence to suggest that Methylene Blue adversely impacts blood pressure or blood viscosity. Higher doses of 150-300mg have been associated with elevated blood pressure in clinical settings.


Individuals with G6PD deficiency should avoid Methylene Blue as it can provoke hemolysis. Also, the medication is contraindicated in patients using SSRIs like fluoxetine (Prozac) due to the increased risk of serotonin syndrome.

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