Product Review

Trusted Abdominal Cramp Relief Now Available Without Prescription

Abdominal cramps, spasms, and the associated pain are common – often-debilitating – symptoms that many who have gastrointestinal diseases and disorders experience. It is also common for those without specific digestive ailments to experience abdominal pain, such as after eating certain foods or during times of stress. In fact, most people experience abdominal cramps or pain at some point in their lives.

A recent survey1 including 1,620 women in Canada found that 87% have experienced abdominal pain and 20% experience it on a weekly basis. In addition, 29% of those surveyed say that abdominal pain interrupts their regular routine at least ‘sometimes’.

It can be difficult to find a suitable medication to relieve abdominal cramping, and many people turn to over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce symptoms. The survey showed that 69% of women treat their gastrointestinal/abdominal cramps or pain with products that aren’t intended for this purpose. Common methods of pain relief include heat (used by 31%), over-the-counter pain relievers (25%), home remedies (23%), and antacids (22%). There are better options for treating these symptoms, but most of the time they are available only by prescription.

Hyoscine butylbromide, the active ingredient in Buscopan®, relaxes tense muscles in the digestive tract, relieving spasms of the smooth muscle and the associated pain. This medicine is beneficial because it provides relief by eliminating the cause, rather than just masking the pain. Physicians have been prescribing Buscopan® to patients with abdominal cramps for more than sixty years, and it is a tried and tested, reliable medication. Until recently, patients could only get Buscopan® through prescription; however, it is now available for purchase behind the counter (just ask the pharmacist) in pharmacies across Canada.

First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 195 – 2015
Note: The GI Society has received no remuneration from Buscopan® or its affiliates for this review.
1. Boehringer Ingelheim commissioned the survey, in collaboration with Leger. 1,620 individuals in Canada completed the survey online from March 8 to March 12, 2015.