Nonprescription Medicines for the Treatment of Pelvic Pain
Nonprescription medicines may effectively control
chronic pelvic pain. They also reduce menstrual
cramping caused by
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
- 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.
acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, if NSAIDs do not relieve your pain.
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.
- Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20
because of the risk of
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Ibuprofen, such as
Advil or Motrin
- Initial dose: 400 mg
- Following doses:
200 mg every 4 hours or 400 mg every 8 hours
- Naproxen, such as
- Initial dose: 220 mg
- Following doses: 220 mg
every 8 to 12 hours
- Do not take more than 3 capsules in 24 hours
unless directed by a doctor.
Side effects with NSAIDs are usually mild. Stomach upset or
discomfort is the most common side effect. Taking the medicine with food may
Reasons not to use NSAIDs (contraindications)
- Pregnancy or trying to become
- Stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal
- Nasal polyps
- Allergic reactions to aspirin or related drugs
or liver disease
- Blood-clotting disorders
Do not take NSAIDs if you are taking
any of the following medicines:
- Blood thinners (anticoagulants), such as
heparin or warfarin
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or
- Oral antidiabetic
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Revised||October 30, 2012|