(HealthDay News) – Treatment with cholecalciferol, which rapidly enhances 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D), is associated with decreased pain and reduced nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use for women with primary dysmenorrhea, according to a letter published in the Feb. 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Antonino Lasco, MD, from the Università di Messina in Italy, and colleagues conducted a prospective intervention study to assess the effect of a single oral dose of cholecalciferol on 40 women aged 18–40 years with primary dysmenorrhea. Women were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to receive either cholecalciferol (300,000IU) or placebo five days before the putative beginning of their next menstrual period.

The investigators identified a significant, negative correlation between the pain score at baseline and levels of 25(OH)D. Compared with the placebo group, there was a significant reduction in pain in the vitamin D group over the two-month study. Women with severe pain at baseline in the vitamin D group experienced the greatest reduction in pain score. In the vitamin D group, there was no NSAID use recorded at one and two months, while 40% of the placebo group took NSAIDs at least once (P=0.003).

“To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating the effect of a single high dose of vitamin D in primary dysmenorrhea,” the authors write. “Our data support the use of cholecalciferol in these patients, especially when exhibiting low plasmatic levels of 25(OH)D, and allow these women to limit the use of NSAIDs.”

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