Against period pain, Spasfon is not a placebo

Against period pain, Spasfon is not a placebo

Years of stomach aches were treated with a drug that tastes like candy: the famous Spasfon. Every month, it’s the same story for women who experience severe pain during their periods. In drugstores, Spasfon appears to be the miracle solution given to all victims of so-called “dysmenorrhea”, the pain that occurs during menstrual cycles.

It is enough that the term “Spasfon” slipped to the top of Twitter trends last Thursday. Behind the hashtag, the opinions are all agreed: This drug – often shown as the only cure – would actually be useless. It is in particular the post of the Internet user who launched the rebellion, believing that the molecule is ineffective against dysmenorrhea and should not be used as a pain reliever. The tweet is transmitted quickly. “I have never seen such an ineffective drug. Put it in a category: candy please,” he launches first. “Real women know that Spasfon does nothing when you have your period,” adds a second.

Even worse, according to web user Whistleblower, Spasfon – in addition to its uselessness – will have a placebo effect, and therefore works only on the psychological side. What is it really? 20 minutes I thought about the question.

From fake

First of all, you should know that Spasfon is considered an antispasmodic. According to Vidal’s Medical Dictionary, the drug “fights abnormal and painful contractions of the intestines, bile ducts, urinary tract, and uterus.” It can be used for gallstones, renal colic or periods of pain. Except for this last case, its use is uncertain.

According to a 2008 report by the High Authority for Health (HAS), Spasfon shows efficacy in the disappearance of pelvic pain after three days of treatment. However, we can also read in this report: “No recommendation is made for the use of antispasmodics during pelvic pain of any etiology (dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, IUD insertion, etc.). These specialties should be considered as adjunctive therapy.” The report also recommends alternatives More specific treatment for this pain, in particular the level 1 analgesics, are better known as ibuprofen, but we’ll come back to this.

Few alternatives

Why is Spasfon seen as the holy grail of period pain in all drugstores? We went to ask Bruno Mallin, director of the National Syndicate of Pharmacists. “It’s available to the pharmacist, as such, over the counter, we don’t have many alternatives to offer the patient either,” says the pharmacist. For lack of anything better, Spasfon remains the effective treatment to “respond to a request at the moment to try to comfort the patient”.

This ranking of “nothing better” was also found in a previous survey published by the magazine in 2017. 60 million consumers. Shown among the over-the-counter drugs [61 en tout]Only a small minority were really effective. Like twenty other products, Spasfon was subsequently classified as having “low or unproven efficacy, but few or rare adverse effects”.

There is no placebo effect

The National Association of Pharmacists also wants to be reassuring: even if Spasfon is an antispasmodic, it is quite possible to use it for all gynecological problems, “even for cramps in pregnant women.” “The most important thing is to know that it is not dangerous to health,” he adds. On the other hand, the leader of pharmacists refutes the idea that Spasfon will have a placebo effect. “We can’t describe it as such because it is an antispasmodic that acts on the muscles.”

However, Bruno Mallin stresses that it has a mentoring role to play according to the pain experienced by women. “In the pharmacy, it is also our duty to explain to the patient that there are many different causes of menstrual pain, that there must be medical care, and that there are effective and targeted treatments,” stresses the president of the National Association of Pharmacists. For example, hormonal therapy or progesterone pills can be discussed with the attending physician or gynecologist.

You can also use steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen. But you still have to be careful, with all usage precautions that may be available,” warns our interviewer. Second-level analgesics containing codeine are now sold by prescription. “And there, we must watch out for the dangers of dependency.”

#period #pain #Spasfon #placebo

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