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Results: 1 to 20 of 38

Quinine for muscle cramps

Muscle cramps can occur anywhere and in anyone; however, leg cramps are especially common in older people. Quinine is a medication which has been used to treat cramps for many years. There is conflicting evidence for its ability to reduce cramps. It can cause serious, even fatal adverse events, especially in overdosage. Twenty‐three trials including 1586 participants were included in this review, comparing quinine or quinine derivatives against placebo or other interventions. There is moderate quality evidence that quinine significantly reduces cramp frequency, intensity and cramp days more than placebo. There is moderate quality evidence that there is a significant increase in minor adverse events with quinine compared to placebo but not in major adverse events. Overdosage however is well documented to cause serious harm including death. There is low quality evidence from one trial that theophylline combined with quinine improves cramps more than quinine alone. Low quality evidence shows there is no significant difference between quinine and vitamin E, quinine‐vitamin E mixture, or xylocaine injections. More research is needed to clarify the optimum dose and duration of treatment, as well as alternatives to quinine.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Non‐drug therapies for lower limb muscle cramps

Lower limb muscle cramps are a common problem that can affect any person, but cramps mostly occur during exercise, at nighttime in older people, in pregnant women, in people with a neurological disease and during kidney dialysis. Non‐drug treatments are described as being effective for the treatment of muscle cramps. Non‐drug treatments include muscle stretching, physical exercise, avoidance of physical fatigue, massage, relaxation, heat therapy, weight loss, sensory nerve stimulation, ankle splints worn while sleeping, and changes to sleeping and sitting positions. We did not include invasive interventions such as surgery, acupuncture or dry‐needling in this review.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Magnesium for muscle cramps

Muscle cramps are common and can occur in a wide range of settings. Older adults and pregnant women commonly complain of leg cramps while they are resting, athletes can cramp when they are pushing the limits of their endurance, and some people develop muscle cramps as a symptom of other medical conditions. One potential treatment that is already being marketed to prevent muscle cramps is magnesium supplementation. Magnesium is a common mineral in our diets and extra oral supplements of this mineral are available either over the Internet or in health food stores and pharmacies (usually in the form of tablets or powders to be dissolved in water). We searched for all high quality published studies evaluating the effectiveness of magnesium to prevent muscle cramps and found four studies in older adults and three studies in pregnant women. There were no studies of people who cramp while exercising and no studies on people who cramp because of underlying medical problems. The four studies in older adults (a total of 322 participants including controls in cross‐over studies) collectively suggest that magnesium is unlikely to provide a meaningful benefit in reducing the frequency or severity of cramps in that population. We consider this evidence to be of moderate quality. In contrast, the three studies in pregnant women (202 participants) are collectively inconclusive since one study found benefit in reducing both cramp frequency and cramp pain while the other two found no benefit. More research on magnesium in pregnant women is needed; however, older adult cramp sufferers appear unlikely to benefit from this therapy. While we could not determine the rate of unwanted side effects, the study withdrawal rates and adverse event discussions suggest the treatment is well tolerated.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Arthritis: What can prevent stomach ulcers caused by painkillers and who needs such protection?

Regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac or ibuprofen can cause ulcers in the stomach and intestine. But the risk can be significantly reduced by taking particular medications.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 26, 2012

Epilepsy: What are the advantages or disadvantages of retigabine (Trobalt)?

The drug retigabine (trade name Trobalt) was approved in March 2011 as add-on therapy for adults with epileptic seizures.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 25, 2012

Multiple sclerosis: What are the advantages or disadvantages of a cannabis extract (Sativex)?

An extract from the plant Cannabis sativa (trade name Sativex) was approved in Germany in May 2011 for patients who have moderate to severe spastic paralysis and muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 25, 2012

Treatment for cramps in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease

A cramp is a sudden, involuntary painful contraction of a muscle. Many people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (MND), experience cramps during the course of the disease. These range from mild cramps that do not affect daily activities and sleep, through to very severe, painful cramps. Some medications that are used to treat cramps in people with no medical condition or with conditions other than ALS have been tested in ALS clinical trials. These medicines include vitamin E, creatine, quinidine, and gabapentin. Other medications such as quinine sulfate, magnesium, lioresal, dantrolene, clonazepam, diphenylhydantoin, and gabapentin have been used to treat cramps in people with ALS but their effectiveness is unknown. In 2006 and 2010 the US Food and Drugs Administration issued warnings concerning the use of quinine sulfate, which was the previously most widely prescribed medication for cramps in the US. This review sought to find out how effective medications and physical treatments for cramps are for people with ALS. The reviewers identified 20 randomised controlled trials in people with ALS comprising a total of 4789 participants. Only one trial, of the drug tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), directly investigated the effectiveness of an intervention for cramps. Thirteen randomised controlled ALS trials investigated cramps secondarily among other variables. The medications comprised vitamin E, baclofen, riluzole, L‐threonine, xaliproden, indinavir, and memantine. Six randomised controlled ALS trials investigated cramps as adverse events. The medications comprised creatine, gabapentin, dextromethorphan, quinidine and lithium. None of the 20 studies could demonstrate any benefit, but the studies were small. Current evidence on the treatment of cramps in ALS is lacking and more research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Epilepsy: What are the advantages or disadvantages of perampanel (Fycompa)?

Perampanel (trade name Fycompa) was approved in July 2012 as add-on therapy for epileptic seizures in children over the age of twelve and adults.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 11, 2013

Overview: Period pain

Many girls and women have problems like abdominal cramps and pain during their menstrual period. The medical term for painful periods is “dysmenorrhea.”

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 24, 2013

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea are all typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Other names for this disorder include irritable colon, mucous colitis, spastic colon or spastic colitis, and nervous stomach. Although IBS is not dangerous, the symptoms can be very painful and bothersome. Most people who have IBS have a mild form, which they can cope with quite well without getting any treatment. But sometimes the symptoms are so strong that they significantly affect people’s everyday lives and cause distress. There is no cure for IBS. Over time, though, many people find out what makes them feel better, and what makes them feel worse. And various things can relieve the symptoms.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 10, 2013

Irritable bowel syndrome: What can help?

There are a lot of treatments that aim to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome – but not all of them have been tested in high-quality studies. Because the causes of IBS are not clear, it is difficult to find suitable treatments. But research has suggested that at least some medications and treatments may be helpful.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 1, 2013

Period pain: Can anti-inflammatory painkillers help?

Anti-inflammatory painkillers like diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve severe period pain. These drugs occasionally cause adverse effects like headaches or stomach problems.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 24, 2013

Period pain – Information for girls

Periods are different for every girl and young woman. Some don’t feel anything, and others have pain or cramps in their lower belly. But period pain often gets better over time. Here we describe why that is and what you can do about the pain.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 10, 2013

Fact sheet: Endometriosis

Endometriosis is still a fairly “unknown” illness, despite the fact that it is one of the most common gynecological problems. It often takes a long time before it is diagnosed. Some women who have endometriosis experience severe pain which affects their quality of life, and sometimes even their fertility. Extremely painful periods may be a sign of endometriosis. Good information and good doctors can help to get a clear diagnosis and determine what the best treatment options are. As with other chronic illnesses, it is important for women with endometriosis to find out how they can live as good a life as possible with their illness.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 17, 2011

Treatment options for heavy periods

Women with very heavy periods (menorrhagia) have various pharmaceutical and surgical treatment options. Knowing about the advantages and disadvantages of each can help make it easier to choose an appropriate therapy.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 4, 2013

Fact sheet: Slipped disk and low back pain

Many people have low back pain that keeps on coming back. Often, an exact cause cannot be determined and the pain goes away on its own after a few days or a couple of weeks. But if you have low back pain that extends further down through your leg and into your foot, it may be a sign of a slipped disk, or “herniated disk”. This kind of pain, which extends into the extremities, is called sciatica. A slipped disk does not always cause symptoms, however.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 25, 2013

Hypertension: Does reducing your salt intake help?

Reducing your salt intake can help lower blood pressure in the medium term: one spoon of salt less per day could make a difference. It is not clear how this affects the long-term risk of complications or the use of medication.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: June 6, 2012

Fact sheet: Small objects in the eye

In daily life, small things can easily get into the eye and cause wounds on the surface of the cornea (superficial wounds). “Corneal abrasion”: this is the medical term for scratches to the clear layer covering the eye. It feels like something is still there, even though the foreign object is gone and there is no visible scratch. Corneal abrasions usually heal completely within two or three days. In this fact sheet we will explain the steps you can take if something small gets stuck in your eye, and to help you decide when it is necessary to go straight to a doctor or hospital.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 30, 2012

Treating Chronic Pelvic Pain: A Review of the Research for Women

This summary describes chronic pelvic pain and explains research about therapies for women with this condition. It can help you talk with your doctor about treating or managing chronic pelvic pain.

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: April 16, 2012

Reducing the Risk of Bone Fracture: A Review of the Research for Adults With Low Bone Density

This summary explains how low bone density can increase the risk of breaking a bone and what research has found about different treatments to lower the risk. It can help you talk with your doctor about which treatment might be right for you.

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: March 2013

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