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Using Ibuprofen for Period Cramps

February 22 2021 | Written by Pri Dogra (She/Her), Developed in Collaboration with MOTRIN®

As you may know by now, I am familiar with cramps, a little too much for my liking. Because I feel like my period knocks me back down to zero every time, I have become curious as to how my antidotes actually work and why OTCs (over-the-counter medications) are so effective for so many people. Today we are taking a closer look at an over-the-counter pain reliever - ibuprofen. MOTRIN® is an OTC product that contains ibuprofen. We’re here to deliver the facts you need to make an informed choice!


Ibuprofen belongs to the group of non-steroidal drugs, more commonly referred to as NSAIDs. NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, are analgesic (pain relieving), and antipyretic (fever reducing). This is to say that you might find yourself reaching for MOTRIN® (ibuprofen) for a number of reasons. Ibuprofen is proven to temporarily relieve mild to moderate pain due to headaches, toothaches, backaches, fevers, cold and flu-like aches and pain, minor bone and joint pain, inflammatory pain like arthritis or from athletic strain, and, of course, menstrual cramps.


1953: Stewart Adams and John Nicholson of Boots Pure Drug Company Ltd. begin developing ibuprofen.

1962: The patent for their compound, 2-(4-isobutylphenyl) propionic acid, is approved.

1969: Ibuprofen enters the UK market as a prescription medicine.

1981: Ibuprofen is approved for relief of mild to moderate pain.

1983: The UK approves ibuprofen as an over the counter medication.

1996: Ibuprofen is moved to the “general sale list,” available for purchase without pharmacist supervision.


Ibuprofen is a member of a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs work within the body by blocking the production of substances called prostaglandins, which are involved in the development of pain and inflammation.

To quickly recap from last month, cramps are triggered by prostaglandins that cause the uterus to contract. When you take ibuprofen, prostaglandin production is slowed.

Some ways the Marlow community incorporates ibuprofen into our routines:

“Hot bath, heat pack, ibuprofen, ginger tea.”

“No caffeine, heating packs, lots of water!!”

“Ibuprofen and hot water bottles are my only friends”

“Ibuprofen and moving my body”

“Ibuprofen and chocolate.”

“Ibuprofen, nap, hot pads!”

“Ibuprofen and wrapping myself in my blanket on my bed.

“Ibuprofen and stretching.”

“Heat pads, ibuprofen, tea for comfort, hot baths and as much rest as possible.”


MOTRIN® has 200, 300, and 400 mg tablet strengths available (200mg and 400mg in liquid gel format, and 200mg, 300mg, and 400mg in tablet format). To be sure MOTRIN® is right for you always read and follow the label.