Ibuprofen formulation relieves menstrual cramps

A chemically altered form of ibuprofen offers a rapid, safe and effective treatment for women with menstrual cramps, according to a report in the journal Clinical Drug Investigation.

Ibuprofen in combination with arginine, a commonly used nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, appears to be able to provide rapid pain relief. The combined formulation reaches peak blood concentrations 20 minutes after administration, the authors explain, while ibuprofen alone takes at least 60 minutes to reach peak levels.

Dr. Camil Castelo-Branco from University of Barcelona and colleagues investigated the safety and effectiveness of ibuprofen arginine in a study of 1093 women, age 13 to 51 years, with menstrual cramps.

Pain intensity decreased significantly within 15 minutes of administration of ibuprofen arginine in 82 percent of the women, the authors report, with 99 percent of the women reporting pain relief at 45 minutes.

Fewer than 5 percent of women experienced one or more adverse events, the report indicates. Stomach pain and nausea were the most commonly reported side effects associated with ibuprofen arginine use.

Before entering the trial, 39 percent of the women reported that their menstrual cramps interfered with work or study activities, the researchers note. This percentage fell significantly to 21 percent of women during treatment with ibuprofen arginine.

“Ibuprofen arginine demonstrated a fast-acting onset of pain relief, was safe and effective in the treatment of this condition, and facilitated normal daily functions during menstruation,” the authors conclude.

“Further studies are necessary to establish the exact risk-benefit ratio and overall efficacy of ibuprofen arginine in the treatment of patients with [menstrual cramps].”

SOURCE: Clinical Drug Investigation, July 2004.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 5, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD