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Menstrual cramp remedies

What do you give to your teenage girls when they have horrible cramps due to their menstrual cycle and Tylenol does not work?

my little penguin

Staff member
Have you talked to the Gi ?
Sometimes they can give prescription cox-2 nsaid like Celebrex since it’s only for a few days a month .
My kiddo is a boy but has moderate juvenile arthritis and takes Celebrex daily for that .
He has done that for years

Tens units may help


Well-known member
Weighted heating pad.

Also, some GI's will let them take ibuprofen once or twice a day for a couple of days. Depends on remission status etc.


Staff member
A heating pad can really help. Also, a Thermacare wrap is thin and can be worn under her clothes if she needs heat at school - we get the ones intended for the lower back and she wears it backwards, so the hot part is over her belly.

Also, an NSAID. Typically NSAIDs are not allowed for patients with Crohn's, but my daughter has severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis as well, so she is on one regularly.

But if it's just a couple days in the month and your daughter's IBD is controlled, her GI might allow an NSAID. We have found, through trial and error, that some NSAIDs are easier on the gut than others. Celebrex is one of them. My daughter was also able to tolerate Meloxicam and Nabumetone (all are easier on the stomach than Advil or Aleve, but all must be prescribed by a doc, as they're not available OTC). Additionally, if your daughter has stomach pain with them, she can take them with OTC Prilosec or Pepcid or a prescription antacid as needed to protect her stomach.

When my daughter was an older teen, she really struggled with severe cramps despite the NSAID and she also struggled with anemia/iron deficiency so was put on birth control, which made a HUGE difference both in pain and also made her period much lighter.
Thanks everyone for your input.
It turns out she had a ruptured ovarian cyst. Still in a lot of pain.
We tried NSAID drugs today, per dr. Not sure how much help that gave. She had a Pepcid with the pill but expressed her stomach was hurting her.
Would naproxen irritate the stomach that fast?


Staff member
It could, even with one dose. So when my kiddos take NSAIDs, we have rules (we learned the hard way) -
- Give medication that protects the stomach 15-30 min before meal, as doctor prescribed (so for example, my younger daughter takes Prilosec 20 min before breakfast and dinner, but in the past my daughters have taken OTC Pepcid, Zantac or Prevacid. BUT a prescription PPI like Prilosec, Prevacid or Aciphex is more likely to help because it's a higher dose)
- Eat (has to be a real meal - just drinking coffee or tea does NOT count)
- Then take the NSAID

I know your daughter is taking Naproxen, but there are prescription NSAIDs that are much easier on the stomach. Neither of my daughters tolerated Naproxen. I would try to get Celebrex, Mobic or Relafen if you can. Celebrex is typically easiest on the stomach.
Thanks everyone for your input. It turned out she had a ruptured ovarian cyst.

Over the last week, pain has been pretty intense but dr says she should be feeling better . We were approved from GI to try Naproxen but that didn’t help much.


Staff member
I would ask for a different NSAID - sometimes one works better than another. One of my daughters is on Celebrex and the other on Relafen. Both have pretty severe arthritis, so they REALLY need them for pain. The other option would be a weak opioid, like Tramadol or Tylenol 3 (Tylenol with codeine).
You can also try giving her Tylenol at the same time as an NSAID - according to multiple rheumatologists we've seen, it potentiates the effect of the NSAID.
Sorry to hear she is hurting so much - poor kiddo :(.
Thanks again for all of your suggestions. We’ve had no school for 4 weeks. She was also quite impacted via an X-ray this week. Through the most recent ultrasound, it looks like the cyst has resolved and the body has absorbed any free fluid.