Although ibuprofen is accepted as an effective treatment for painful periods, or dysmenorrhea, there is still controversy about the usefulness of acetaminophen.
To investigate further, a small trial was conducted involving 12 women with dysmenorrhea. They were given three different treatments in random order for three different periods: 1000 milligrams of acetaminophen, 400 milligrams of ibuprofen, or an inactive placebo, four times daily for three days.
The women rated the active medications as being more effective than the placebo. However, it appears that ibuprofen has a greater effect, and patients also preferred it.
Well there you have it. When a heating pad doesn't cut it for cramps, I'm reaching for some good old ibuprofen.