What is Midol?

Midol is an over-the-counter drug used to treat symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Although there are more than 150 PMS symptoms, the most commonly reported symptoms are irritability, bloating, swollen breasts, food cravings and headaches. Midol products treat all of these symptoms except food cravings.

There are currently four Midol products: Midol Complete, Midol Extended Relief, Midol Cramps & Body Aches and Midol Teen Formula. Each product has different active ingredients. Midol Complete has acetaminophen, caffeine and pyrilamine maleate, an antihistamine. Midol Extended Relief has naproxen. Midol Cramps & Body Aches has ibuprofen. Midol Teen Formula has acetaminophen and pamabrom, a diuretic.


Midol Complete

Midol Complete is used for these PMS symptoms: pain, fatigue, irritability and bloating. Acetaminophen is used to treat pain (including headaches and backaches), the caffeine in this drug is used to treat fatigue and pyrilamine maleate is an antihistamine that may induce drowsiness and relieve irritability.

Midol Extended Relief

Midol Extended Relief contains naproxen. Naproxen is a “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.” It eases symptoms of pain (including backaches and headaches) associated with PMS.

Midol Cramps & Body

Midol Cramps & Body contains ibuprofen, and is used to ease symptoms of pain (including backaches and headaches). It may also be used to treat muscle aches associated with PMS.

Midol Teen Formula

Midol Teen Formula is used to treat PMS symptoms including pain and bloating. The acetaminophen works as a pain reliever (for pain including backaches and headaches), and the pamabrom works as a diuretic to help with bloating. Pamabrom may also help with weight gain and swelling.

Side Effects


You must not use Midol during pregnancy or if you are trying to become pregnant due to possible harm to the unborn baby and interference with normal labor/delivery.


Tell your doctor before using Midol if you are breast-feeding. It is not known whether using midol during breastfeeding is dangerous.

Before Using Midol

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ibuprofen in children below 6 months of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ibuprofen (Midol) in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require adjustment of dosage in patients receiving ibuprofen.

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common:

  • Abdominal pain; acid or sour stomach

  • belching; bloating

  • cloudy urine

  • decrease in amount of urine; decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability; diarrhea; difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)

  • excess air or gas in stomach or intestines

  • full feeling

  • heartburn

  • indigestion; itching skin

  • pain or discomfort in chest, upper stomach, or throat; pale skin; passing gas

  • nausea; noisy, rattling breathing

  • rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin

  • shortness of breath; swelling of face, fingers, hands, feet, lower legs, or ankles

  • troubled breathing at rest; troubled breathing with exertion

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • unusual tiredness or weakness

  • vomiting

  • weight gain

Less common:

  • Abdominal cramps

  • stomach soreness or discomfort


  • Agitation

  • back, leg, or stomach pains; bleeding gums; blistering, peeling, loosening of skin; blood in urine or stools; bloody, black, or tarry stools; blurred vision; burning feeling in chest or stomach

  • change in vision; chest pain; chills; clay-colored stools; coma; confusion; constipation; cough or hoarseness

  • dark urine; decreased urine output; depression; difficulty breathing; difficulty swallowing; dilated neck veins; dizziness; dry mouth

  • extreme fatigue

  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse; fever with or without chills; frequent urination

  • general body swelling; general feeling of tiredness or weakness

  • hair loss, thinning of hair; headache; hives or welts; hostility

  • impaired vision; increased blood pressure; increased volume of pale, dilute urine; irregular breathing; irritability; itching

  • joint or muscle pain

  • lab results that show problems with liver; lethargy; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; lower back or side pain

  • muscle twitching

  • nosebleeds

  • painful or difficult urination; pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back; pinpoint red spots on skin; puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

  • rash; red skin lesions, often with a purple center; red, irritated eyes; redness of skin

  • seizures; severe abdominal pain, cramping, burning; severe and continuing nausea; sore throat; sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips; stiff neck or back; stomach upset; stupor; swollen or painful glands

  • tenderness in stomach area; thirst; tightness in chest

  • unpleasant breath odor; upper right abdominal pain

  • vomiting of blood; vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds

  • wheezing

  • yellow eyes and skin

Symptoms of overdose:

  • Bluish lips or skin

  • difficulty sleeping; disorientation; dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly; drowsiness to profound coma

  • hallucination

  • lightheadedness or fainting

  • mood or other mental changes; muscle tremors

  • not breathing

  • rapid, deep breathing; restlessness

  • slow or irregular heartbeat; stomach cramps; sudden fainting; sweating

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common:

  • Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in ears

  • hearing loss

  • nervousness


  • Crying

  • depersonalization; discouragement; dry eyes; dysphoria

  • euphoria

  • feeling sad or empty

  • lack of appetite; loss of interest

  • mental depression

  • paranoia

  • quick to react or overreact

  • rapidly changing moods; runny nose

  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness; sleeplessness; sneezing; stuffy nose

  • trouble concentrating; trouble sleeping

  • unable to sleep

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

What other medications commonly interact with Midol?

Some drugs may interact with Midol, including anticoagulants, isoniazid, quinolones, sodium oxybate, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and theophyllines. To lessen the chance of dangerous drug interactions while taking Midol, it's a good idea to make your doctor aware of all medications you are currently taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and supplements.


[Midol helps me very much with] my period. ... What I’ve found, though, is that spending a dollar or so extra on Midol Complete makes me feel like I’m not having a period at all – and that’s the best feeling...

Midol is constantly coming out with “new and improved” products, most of which work pretty much the same. You’ve also got brands like Excedrin trying to push products meant to aid in bloating, menstrual cramps, and PMS, although they’ve never worked – at least not for me. I can’t even make do with Midol’s competitors, because none of them seem to stand up to my cramps. Midol Complete, however, is even more incredible than the original.

I know you’re supposed to exercise and stay active when you start feeling fatigued during your period, but my fatigue always gets in the way. ... But Midol Complete actually does cut through the fog. I’m not exactly jumping for joy, but it lifts me up enough to manage a walk around the block or something, which gives me the energy I lacked before. I don’t have [bad] days ... because it takes care of the bloating...

I know it’s a little more expensive than the OG formula, but if you have painful or exhausting periods, I recommend at least trying Midol Complete, instead.

User Reviews

, Chicago, IL., “Midol works!

I get pretty bad bloating, cramps, and fatigue right before my period. My cramps are terrible! I usually have to laydown for a bit and get a fever from all the pain. ...

Then I tried midol, and trust me MIDOL WORKS! I know the ingredients say its just ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and caffeine, but somewhow midol works way more better then if I just take ibuprofen and have coffee (caffeine). Usually if I take Midol at the first sign of cramps, the pain slowly dissipates and by 1 hour later, I hardly remember that I'm on my period!

xjess, Diamond Bar, CA., “works!

I used to never get cramps, but I've been getting them on the first day of my period for the past 3 years for some reason. Sometimes it gets really bad, and sometimes it's just a light pain. However, I can't tolerate pain at all, and especially not menstrual cramps. So I always take a pill whenever I feel the cramps starting. If it gets more serious, I'll take another one. They don't kick in immediately, but they do help a lot. Sometimes I think my body has built immunity to these pills and so the cramps don't stop. But I guess it just depends on the severity of the cramps. I don't know what I'd do without these pills during that time of month. ... But after taking 2 of these, I feel much better...

turnercatt, Saint Petersburg, FL, “Midol ... is a Gift from God!!!

I am one of those ... women who suffer from heavy, painful, and exhausting periods once a month. Without Midol I would be in bed for three days out of the month writhing in pain... but once I discovered Midol that all changed. Midol in general is awesome so when I heard they released a new kind ... I couldn't wait to get my hands on some. ... Well I used it and I have to tell you this product is AWESOME!!! ... It really did work all day and into the night for me... I'm actually so happy with this product because while I still suffer from heavy periods, I don't suffer from cramps. So if you have the same problems I did I would definitely go out and get some Midol...

mollymcgrath, norwood, OH, “Midol is a good, but expensive...

I really like Midol, and am so glad that it exists. ... Though it works very well, and does everything it says, it is expensive...

When I have my period, the first few days are bad. My cramps are terrible, and my back is achey from being constipated. I'm also very sleepy, and I just want to curl up in my blanket, and come out in 4 days.

Well, unfortunately, that's not an option, so I always send my husband to get the ...- tampons, ... good ice cream (typical, I know), and some Midol.

Midol completely relieves my cramps in about 20 minutes. It also has about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, so it perks me up, too. I don't really have bloating problems, but apparently it's good for that too.

So, yeah, it costs a little more than it should, but I am so glad it exists.

louee, Herculaneum, MO, “Midol Ibuprofen helps those who can't have acetomenophen

When I found that Bayer began making a Midol that wasn't made with acetomenophen, but ibuprofen instead, I was elated. Ibuprofen seems to give me relief of menstral pain so much better than acetopmenophen-type pain relievers. A second blessing of it was that my 12 year old daughter, who newly began having her period and experience menstral pain, is allergic to acetomenophen and wasn't able to take anything but plan ibuprofen typ over the counter meds for that type of pain. The directions is to take only one liquid gel as a dosage amount...and one is all that it takes. We were at the store with a coupon for it, I handed the box to my 12 year old and said, 'here ya go,' and she said, 'yessss. ... that makes everything all better,'... this just goes to show you how much ... Midol Liquid Gels with Ibuprofen has made of my 12 year old daughter...my husband has even been known to take a Midol for a bad headache if that's all I have in my purse when he need something, and he says that he thinks it helps his mood too...

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