Period or menstrual pains are an important problem, affecting many millions of women every month and it has attracted the attention of many home medicine manufacturers. Among the ‘specially formulated’ products are Feminax, Codural Period Pain tablets and Femerital.
Feminax contain paracetamol, salicylamide, codeine phosphate, caffeine and 100 micrograms of hyoscine hydrobromide. This latter substance, which is usually given in doses of 300-600 micrograms, has a number of qualities. It slows the heart, it calms excited patients and it induces sleep, it may prevent travel sickness and it is used as a preoperative sedative. It is also used in the treatment of infantile cerebral palsy, paralysis agitans, and postencephalitic parkinsonism and is an antispasmodic.
Codural Period Pain tablets contain paracetamol, caffeine and 1 rng of homatropine methylbromide which has properties not dissimilar to those associated with hyoscine hydrobromide. Homatropine methyl-bromide is usually given in doses of 2.5-5 mg.
Femerital contain an antispasmodic (ambucetamide) and paracetamol.
I suggest that initially the treatment of period pain be carried out in the same way as the treatment of any other sort of pain. Proprietary products can be tried if painkillers alone are of no use. If the pains are regularly too strong to be quelled by home medicines or if they are accompanied by heavy or unexpected bleeding then a doctor should be consulted.