There’s a Good Chance You’re Taking the Wrong Period Cramp Meds, and They May Be Harmful

When our time of the month rolls around, we’ll do pretty much anything and everything to subdue, manage or at least slightly relieve the period pain. From wearables to patches, yoga poses to eating dos & don’ts, and a few natural remedies to boot, we’re willing to try it all. But now it turns out that there’s a very good chance that most of us are taking the wrong meds for our period cramps.

While we’re not really in the mood to be nitpicky when the pain sets in — if it’s available and will help, we’re thankful — it turns out what we’re taking could not only be less effective than we’d like, it could actually be harming us.

“Because over-the-counter painkillers are easy to get, they’re easy to abuse, and that makes them dangerous,” said Dr. Kimberly Sackheim, DO, a pain management specialist at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation center, while chatting with Cosmopolitan.

Each has its own pros and cons. For instance, Midol and Tylenol are less likely to hurt your stomach than other options, but they’re also less effective when it comes to relieving your cramps and they can harm your liver if taken in higher dosages.

So what should you be taking and what should’t you be taking? Well, that depends on your particular suffering. 

If your cramps come with a stomachache, meds that include acetaminophen or celecoxib are your best bet.

If your cramps last all day, grab the naproxen.

If you have kidney issues, then it’s best to opt for acetaminophen or a prescription painkiller.

If you have liver problems, stick with a prescription painkiller and stay away from acetaminophen.

If you plan to have a drink or two, again, stay away from acetaminophen and perhaps stick with a hot water bottle for a tiny bit.

If you have super bad cramps and an equally sensitive stomach, then again, you should be sticking with a prescription painkiller.

No matter what you take, go easy on yourself and rest up while you’re on your period, if at all possible. You deserve it.