Zinc and mefenamic acid for alleviating the symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea is the menstrual pain in women that produces mild to debilitating cramping of the uterus. Although the uterus contracts and relaxes routinely, during menstruation the contractions are much stronger producing pain and cramps. Women with dysmenorrhea have high levels of prostaglandins, which leads to hypercontractility and increased uterine muscle tone, hence, lower abdominal cramps. It has been reported to be a common health problem in young women.
Research has shown that the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis can ameliorate the severity of menstrual pain. However, it is known that zinc prevents or improve menstrual cramping. In this regard, the probable therapeutic role of zinc supplements has been recently emphasized. A double-blinded, randomized study was conducted on 200 female students to determine the efficacy of zinc supplements on relieving primary dysmenorrhea. The subjects were recruited from the dormitory of Zahedan University of Medical Sciences. Students with the experience of primary dysmenorrhea in 3 months of the study, regular menstrual cycles and with a history of at least one day per month were included in the study.
Two-hundred participants with primary dysmenorrhea were randomized into one of two groups. The intervention group received zinc sulfate capsules 220 mg once daily and mefenamic acid capsules 250 mg three times daily and the control group received the same concentration and dosage of mefenamic acid and a placebo drug. After 3 months, changes in the incidence of dysmenorrhea and degree of pain were measured in both groups.
The present intervention, which included the use of zinc and mefenamic acid reduced the severity of dysmenorrhea and menstrual bleeding in the experimental group, unlike the control group. As a results of this study, reasearchers recommended that women with primary dysmenorrhea take zinc supplementation along with mefenamic acid in order to get relief from the pain.