Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
and naproxen, reduce menstrual cramps and relieve pain by reducing swelling
(inflammation) and lowering the level of the hormone prostaglandin within the
Pain is a normal part of life: a skinned knee, a tension headache, a bone fracture. But sometimes pain becomes chronic -- a problem to explore with your doctor. WebMD asked Eduardo Fraifeld, MD, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, to help readers understand acute vs. chronic pain.
Start taking the recommended dose of pain
medicine as soon as your discomfort begins or one day before your menstrual
period is scheduled to start.
Take the medicine in regularly
scheduled doses to keep the pain under control. Pain medicine is more
effective if you take it at regularly scheduled intervals around the clock. You
may wish to take your pain medicine in the morning, at lunch, before dinner,
and when you go to bed. Taking the medicine only when your pain is "really
bad" is not an effective method for pain control.
Before you take any nonprescription medicines for the first
time, be sure to carefully read the information on the package. It is important
to understand how much of the medicine you should take and when you should
take it, as well as reasons not to take the medicine. As with all
Do not exceed the maximum recommended dose.
If you have been told to avoid these
medicines (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), call your doctor before taking them.
If you are or could be pregnant,
call your doctor before using any medicine.