The most common medication used for menstrual cramps, PMS cramps relief, and menstrual pain in general is Tylenol®, also known as acetaminophen or, in Europe, paracetamol. It is the main ingredient in the over-the-counter medications Pamprin® and Midol®, both of which are sold as PMS or menstrual pain remedies. Some of the specific brands include: Midol PMS®, Midol PMS Maximum Strength®, Pamprin Cramp Menstrual Relief®, Pamprin Max Menstrual Pain Relief®, and Pamprin Multi-Symptom Menstrual Pain Relief®.
It has been known for decades that acetaminophen is a liver toxin, and that overdoses can lead to damage or death. Natural health practitioners usually recommend natural alternatives for PMS pain relief and natural menstrual pain remedies for just this reason.
In fact, just as an overdose causes major damage, even ongoing low level use of acetaminophen-containing products such as Tylenol®, Pamprin®, and Midol® may be very hard on the liver. Combined with the many environmental toxins to which our bodies are subject everyday from household and industrial chemicals, car exhaust, and the like, we think natural alternatives for PMS symptom relief and menstrual cramps relief is even more important. And you should definitely avoid taking Tylenol® or generic acetaminophen in addition to the over-the-counter drugs mentioned above, since that would be a double dose of acetaminophen.
The potential problems with acetaminophen were confirmed by a recent study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology that showed that repeated smaller overdoses of acetaminophen are more toxic than a single large overdose. This is precisely the kind of pattern that could be expected when women self-medicate for severe menstrual cramps or PMS pain relief using acetaminophen-containing products. What’s more, the longer it takes to go to the hospital once you’ve overdosed with acetaminophen, the worse the outcome. And we can easily imagine that women with PMS cramps and pain are likely to delay going to the hospital, since they feel so awful and may well think that their symptoms are a result of PMS rather than drug overdose.
This is yet another reason why natural PMS remedies such as our PMS Comfort Relief Programs and our PMS Balance Diet are so important: they help prevent and relieve symptoms without potentially toxic medications. In the process, they help you become naturally healthy and allow you to avoid overburdening your body with chemical toxins.