Does Ibuprofen Help Menstrual Cramps?

Does Ibuprofen Help Menstrual Cramps?

How does ibuprofen help menstrual cramps? Menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea is a devastating problem for some women; some women get only a mild pain or no pain at all. Occurrence of menstrual cramps varies with individual woman. Usually it starts one or two days before the initiation of menstruation, peaks within 24 hours after onset of menstruation and goes away after two to three days. The pain is in the lower abdomen can be mild, moderate or severe. Sometimes it radiates to the back or the thighs and can be associated with nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headache.

Some women only get a mild menstrual cramp and it does not affect their day to day activities. Some women get a severe pain which affect their day to day activities; therefore it’s a big problem for them. Ibuprofen relieves menstrual cramps very effectively.

During menstruation the inner lining of the uterine wall gets detach when fertilization doesn’t occur. Then those tissues and blood pass down through the vagina as menses. This is a cell injury, so prostaglandins are produced which cause inflammation and pain in the uterus. Prostaglandin induces uterine muscle contractions to expel the cells and blood. Increased levels of prostaglandins cause severe pain.

Ibuprofen blocks the prostaglandin production by inhibiting the COX-1 and COX-2 pathways in the uterus, thereby reduce the pain and hypercontractivity of the uterus.

It also relieves the other symptoms associated with menstrual cramps. The dose is 200 mg to 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours. Maximum dose per day is 1200 mg. usually ibuprofen is available as 200 mg, 400 mg and 600 mg tablets and the 200 mg and 400 mg can be bought over the counter without a prescription.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It’s a non-selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase 1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2).

When there is a cell damage the cell/s releases arachidonic acid, which is stored in phospholipids. Arachidonic acid produce prostaglandins by the cyclooxygenase (COX) pathway through COX-1 and COX-2. There are about eight identified prostaglandin types in our body. Different prostaglandins are produced when there is an injury, and these get attached to the relevant tissue receptors for their action. Normally COX-1 produce small amounts of prostaglandins daily, when there is an injury COX-2 also get stimulated to produce more prostaglandin to response to the injury. Prostaglandins induce inflammation, pain and fever and along with the immune system cure the injury.

Ibuprofen exert its anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 pathways. The anti-inflammatory effect is achieved by inhibition of COX-2 pathway whereas inhibition of COX-1 leads to prostaglandin (PG) deficiency which reduce the inflammation, pain and fever. Ibuprofen has a weak anti-inflammatory action compared to the other NSAID’s, but it has a prominent analgesic and anti-pyretic effect.

Summary

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is a non-selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase 1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). When there is a cell damage the cell/s releases arachidonic acid, which produce prostaglandins by the cyclooxygenase (COX) pathway through COX-1 and COX-2. Prostaglandins induce inflammation, pain and fever. Ibuprofen exert its anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 pathways in the uterus. The anti-inflammatory effect is achieved by inhibition of COX-2 pathway whereas inhibition of COX-1 leads to prostaglandin (PG) deficiency, which reduce the inflammation, pain and fever, thereby reduce the pain and hypercontractivity of the uterus. It also relieves the other symptoms associated with menstrual cramps. Ibuprofen has a weak ant-inflammatory action compared to the other NSAID’s, but it has a prominent analgesic and anti-pyretic effect.

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