Midol and You: What is Midol, What is in it, and How does it work?

Published March 16th, 2021 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera
Medically Reviewed:
Camille Freking

Midol is a product designed specifically to help women deal with the pain associated with menstruation. It has been around for over 50 years, and now there are several different types of Midol available on the market. This blog post will explain what Midol actually is, how it works and what you can expect when using this product. 

What is Midol? 

For women everywhere, there is nothing more frustrating than experiencing pain in your monthly cycle. Unfortunately for many women the only option they have to help reduce this pain and discomfort is over-the-counter medicine or prescriptions. Midol, an over the counter medicine, was created with the intent of reducing menstrual cramps without any harsh side effects that can be potentially caused by other medications.

Midol, developed by the American pharmaceutical company Warner-Lambert and now distributed by Bayer, is a brand of medication used to treat pain and cramps during menstruation. Midol contains ibuprofen, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that helps reduce fever, swelling, stiffness and soreness. It also reduces menstrual cramping by blocking the production of prostaglandins that cause uterine contractions. It also helps reduce headaches, backaches, bloating caused by menstruation and reduces blood flow to the uterus and relax smooth muscles in the pelvic region.

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What are the ingredients in Midol?

Midol is an over-the-counter pain reliever that comes in the form of pills, patches, suppositories and across a few different formulations; Complete, Extended Relief, Teen, Liquid Gels, and PM. The active ingredients for pain relief in Midol ranges from ibuprofen (Liquid Gels), acetaminophen (Complete, Teen, PM) or naproxen sodium (Extended Relief). Midol also contains inactive ingredients like dyes and fillers that help it stay together as a pill, but don't have any effect on your body when you take them. Midol also could caffeine, depending on formulation. Although it may seem like the three ingredients share a common theme, they each have unique properties and function in different ways to relieve your pain.

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Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat fever, pain and inflammation. It can also be used for headaches, backaches, sore throats, minor arthritis pain and menstrual cramps. Ibuprofen reduces the production of prostaglandins which are hormone-like substances that cause swelling and irritation of your joints. 

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter pain relievers, including Tylenol. It is generally used to treat minor aches and pains associated with colds, flu, headaches or backaches. Acetaminophen does not provide relief from severe pain or inflammation caused by arthritis or muscle injuries. However, acetaminophen may be appropriate for those experiencing chronic pain if prescription medications are not working effectively enough to control symptoms. 

Naproxen

Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory drug that has been used for the management of mild to moderate pain. It also helps with relieving symptoms associated with various inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and menstrual cramps.

How does Midol Work?

When you're experiencing pain, it's hard to focus on anything else. That makes productivity a challenge, but that doesn't mean you should just suffer through the pain in silence. Reminder, the pain of menstruation is a natural part of the female life cycle and thankfully there are effective ways to manage the pain. Let’s tell you of the most common over the counter solution Midol and how it works. Midol works by decreasing prostaglandin levels in the body, which helps to decrease uterine contractions, lower blood flow to the uterus and relax muscles in the pelvic region. All of the active ingredients combine to provide you fast and effective relief. 

Who should take it and how much do you need to take for relief? 

It is estimated that about 85 percent of women will suffer from painful periods at some point in their lives. It can be so severe that it interferes with daily life, and many sufferers experience a significant loss of income or education as a result. Midol can be taken by women of all ages who suffer from painful periods and symptoms associated with menstruation, these can include cramps, fatigue, and diarrhea. Although it does not always work immediately, patients should feel some relief within one hour of taking Midol. Each form has its own benefits but also some drawbacks that you should be aware of before deciding which one is the right for you. As always, you should consult with your doctor for proper care given your medical condition.

Summary

Periods are a natural part of life for women, but they can be uncomfortable and can cause pain. Women across the globe suffer from painful periods that make their lives miserable for several days in a month. One of the most common causes is endometriosis, which affects millions of women around the world and makes them suffer greatly during those days. It's important that you know your options and how to deal with your period pain so you don't have to miss out on anything! Midol is a great over the counter option for women looking for relief.

Sources: 

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=d6d47af8-5f8c-4c8c-a8c6-aa214ec23bca&type=display

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=d6d47af8-5f8c-4c8c-a8c6-aa214ec23bca

https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_334140

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/daf/index.cfm?event=overview.process&ApplNo=021472

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