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About period pain treatments

We offer Naproxen and Mefenamic acid as treatments for severe period pain. Both are medicines that reduce inflammation and treat pain.

How do Naproxen and Mefenamic acid work?

Both Naproxen and Mefenamic acid work by blocking the pain triggering chemicals released by the womb during menstruation. They also reduce the inflammation and soreness of menstrual cramps.

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How do I take them?

If you’re prescribed either tablet, you’ll start to take them on the first painful day of your period. You can keep taking the treatment for each painful day of your period. It’s important that you take the tablets regularly, for two to three days each period, rather than now and again when the pain builds up.

What are the side effects?

Common side effects for both medicines include upset stomach, nausea, and indigestion. If you’re taking Mefenamic acid and you develop diarrhoea, stop taking the medicine and get in touch with the clinical team through your secure account.

For the full list of side effects and how to take the tablets, it’s important to read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine.

Important safety information

It’s important that you tell us which other medicines you’re taking — whether they’re prescription or medicines you’ve bought without a prescription. You must also tell us about any other health conditions you have. We need to know so that we can prescribe period pain treatment that’s suitable for you.

If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant, this treatment is not suitable for you.

How quickly do the treatments work?

Both treatments should start to work shortly after taking them, and you should take them for two to three days during your period. If your pain doesn’t improve, or continues for longer than a few days, please let the clinician know through your secure messaging area of your account.

What are my options if I don’t want treatment?

If you decide that the treatment isn’t for you, you can message us to see if taking a hormonal contraceptive pill might suit you. You can find out more about the contraceptive pill through our contraceptive pill service.

You can also try easing your pain with a hot water bottle or other relaxing, stress reducing techniques especially on the heaviest days of your period.

Keeping you safe

If you do not feel safe, are experiencing abuse or control, or have experienced this in the past, please find support below or send us a message:

Page last reviewed by: Dr. Christina Hennessey 21/06/2021