Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Self-Medication for the Treatment of Abdominal Cramps and Pain – a Real-Life Comparison of Three Frequently Used Preparations

Version 1 : Received: 19 September 2022 / Approved: 22 September 2022 / Online: 22 September 2022 (14:15:32 CEST)

How to cite: Storr, M.; Weigmann, H.; Landes, S.; Michel, M.C. Self-Medication for the Treatment of Abdominal Cramps and Pain – a Real-Life Comparison of Three Frequently Used Preparations. Preprints 2022, 2022090346 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202209.0346.v1). Storr, M.; Weigmann, H.; Landes, S.; Michel, M.C. Self-Medication for the Treatment of Abdominal Cramps and Pain – a Real-Life Comparison of Three Frequently Used Preparations. Preprints 2022, 2022090346 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202209.0346.v1).

Abstract

Functional gastro-intestinal disorders (FGID) including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are frequently handled by self-management with over the counter (OTC) products such as hyoscine butylbromide (HBB), alone or in combination with paracetamol, and natural products such as peppermint oil. To obtain real-world information, we have performed an anonymous pharmacy-based patient survey among 1686 users of HBB, HBB + paracetamol and peppermint oil. Based on the distinct but overlapping indications for the three OTC products, multiple logistic regression was applied to compare them in users reporting gastrointestinal cramps and pain, bloating, flatulence, or IBS as cardinal symptom. All three treatments reduced symptoms and associated impairments of work/daily chores, leisure activities, and sleep by approximately 50%. Based on the four cardinal symptoms and the four dependent continuous variables of interest (change of intensity of symptoms and of the three impairment domains) a total of 16 logistic regression models were applied. HBB, HBB + paracetamol, and peppermint oil had similar reported overall effectiveness in those models. Gender, age, baseline symptom severity and impairment in one of three domains had small and inconsistent effects on perceived treatment success. We provide evidence that HBB, HBB + paracetamol, and peppermint oil have comparable effectiveness in their approved indications under real-world conditions in an OTC setting.

Keywords

gastrointestinal cramps; gastrointestinal pain; irritable bowel syndrome; hyoscine butyl bromide; peppermint oil; over-the-counter treatment; pharmacy-based patient survey

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Gastroenterology

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