Skip main navigation



Are there any over-the-counter medications besides Tylenol used to treat menstrual cramps?


There are other over-the-counter medications besides Tylenol® (acetaminophen) to treat menstrual cramps. A class of drugs called nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) actually block prostaglandin production and so should help with the menstrual cramping. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) or naproxen (Aleve®). The most common side effect with NSAIDs is gastrointestinal discomfort. Other things that can help with menstrual cramps are using a heating pad on your lower abdomen or soaking in a hot bath. There may be other causes for extremely painful menstrual pain. Be sure to contact your physician to make sure other causes are ruled out, especially if you don't find relief from NSAlDs.

Menstrual cramp causes

The reason why you get cramps is because your body produces a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins trigger uterine muscle contractions. The more prostaglandins you have, the more severe your menstrual cramps are. Tylenol® (acetaminophen) does not help with blocking prostaglandins, which may be why it does not help with menstrual cramp relief.

Back to Ask a Pharmacist


Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

Your Digital Health Advisor. Powered by WebMD. Manage diabetes with this easy online tool.* Get started.
Your Digital Health Advisor. Powered by WebMD. Manage diabetes with this easy online tool.* Get started.

Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices

20 Points
20 Points

Now you can track your blood pressure and blood glucose.

Start earning points Go Arrow