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Introduction: Primary dysmenorrhea affects many women, being a major cause of absenteeism and reduced productivity at work and at school. Although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a good treatment option, up to 18% of women show no response or present allergic reactions and adverse events. Curcumin has antispasmodic, antinociceptive, and both specific and nonspecific anti-inflammatory effects, with good tolerability and safety. To date, no previous trial involving curcumin and dysmenorrhea pain has been performed. Therefore, our main goal is to assess the efficacy of curcumin for pain relief among women with primary dysmenorrhea, along with determining curcumin’s adverse effects and tolerability profile.
Methods: A phase II, single-center, randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, superiority trial to evaluate the effect of curcumin (500 mg/12h) in pain reduction in women (18 to 35-year-old) with primary dysmenorrhea. A first cycle will be used for a passive, observational run-in phase. A sample of 108 participants (54 per group) is necessary to detect a 30% difference in pain sensitivity between groups assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS). Secondary outcomes include side effects, Cox Menstrual Symptom Scale (CMSS), and use of rescue drugs for pain relief.
Discussion: Clinical evidence has shown analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin and in view of dysmenorrhea’s physiopathology being related to those mechanisms targeted by curcumin, we hypothesize its use could represent an innovative and effective therapy to reduce the severity of this disease and its symptoms.
Keywords: primary dysmenorrhea, Curcumin, pain relief, Visual Analogue Scale, Cox Menstrual Symptom Scale.