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NSAIDs ‘more effective than paracetamol’ for period pain

By Yvette Martyn

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are significantly more effective for pain relief than paracetamol in women suffering from dysmenorrhoea, a gold standard review has found.

The Cochrane review analysed 73 randomised control trials which compared the use of NSAIDs, paracetamol and placebo in dysmenorrhoea.

NSAIDs were found to be more than four times more effective for pain relief than placebo and almost twice as effective as paracetamol. There was little evidence that any particular NSAID was superior.

The study authors also investigated the adverse effects of NSAIDs and found that NSAIDs were 37% more likely to cause adverse effects such as drowsiness than placebo. However gastrointestinal adverse effects were not significantly increased with NSAIDs.

Lead author Jane Marjoribanks, researcher for the Cochrane menstrual disorders and subfertility group in Auckland, New Zealand, said: ‘It appears that NSAIDs are more effective than paracetamol.'

And she added: ‘It remains important for women taking NSAIDs for dysmenorrhoea to be aware of the need to take medications with food.'

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001751

The study found that NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are more effective than paracetamol for period pain The study found that NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are more effective than paracetamol for period pain

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