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Ibuprofen Beats Acetaminophen for Menstrual Pain

Although both ibuprofen and acetaminophen reduce menstrual pain, ibuprofen appears to be more potent for pain relief.

Although ibuprofen is accepted as an effective treatment for painful periods, or dysmenorrhea, there is still controversy about the usefulness of acetaminophen.

To investigate further, a small trial was conducted involving 12 women with dysmenorrhea. They were given three different treatments in random order for three different periods: 1000 milligrams of acetaminophen, 400 milligrams of ibuprofen, or an inactive placebo, four times daily for three days.

The women rated the active medications as being more effective than the placebo. However, it appears that ibuprofen has a greater effect, and patients also preferred it.

Well there you have it. When a heating pad doesn't cut it for cramps, I'm reaching for some good old ibuprofen.

Join The Conversation
lulita lulita 10 years
totally agree!! i love ibuprofen! but i have to take 800mg... I suffer from really severe pains, i faint, puke and stuff... that s why i take that much of a dose
DStirk DStirk 10 years
good to know, thanks fit!
scratch5 scratch5 10 years
I just learned similar news from my pediatrician - no tylenol for teething pain, just Motrin. Motrin is an anti -inflammatory and acetaminophen is not. Guess it is similar on all our female business. (I love spell check - I could never have spelled "pediatrician" or "acetaminophen" correctly without it!!!)
Hope5 Hope5 10 years
Yeah, just work out.
kellyanne kellyanne 10 years
Aleve works the best for me, but it's naproxen and not either one of these two tested. I also will use an herb called cramp bark if my cramps aren't too severe. Some months I hardly even notice them, other months I am laid out on the couch. I never thought to correlate exercise with the easy months...
JessNess JessNess 10 years
I try not to take a lot of pills either I find that for me if I drink a lot of milk the week before then my cramps either lessen or are nonexistent
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
after 3 kids i still get them usually they last just one day but i find going to be with a heating pad and taking nyquil is about as good as it's going to get. i had endometriosis a few years ago and had it lazered off. maybe it's back, because after kids you are told you won't have cramps anymore.
Bonne Bonne 10 years
Working out works for me. I have to plan for my cycle and take the first days off of work off....
skiacresluv skiacresluv 10 years
That might be true, because midol has caffeine in it too.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 years
I'm not saying that I myself NEVER get them, but in my experience, I find that exercise does alleviate cramps and the need to reach for a strong medication in relieving them. I guess I just try to go natural and not take a lot of pills. While I use Advil when I need to, I've been told that aspirin and Coke makes a good combo: the caffeine in Coke opens the blood vessels, and aspirin relieves the pain. I don't know if it works, but I heard of that as one remedy at a health class in college.
JessNess JessNess 10 years
yeaaaaa working out does nothing for me when it comes to cramps Remember though to drink plenty of water when taking Ibuprofen to keep your kidneys happy
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 years
Even better, just work out regularly! It beats looking for the best pain reliever for menstrual cramps. That is actually one of my biggest motivations in working out, because I don't miss getting them.
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