Scientists have developed a pill they claim may soon put an end to the monthly period pains of women.
Southampton based scientists have created the pill from a drug called VA111913. The drug, taken as a prescribed medicine, is designed to tackle the cause of agonizing monthly stomach cramps which leave some women bedridden.
It is currently in the second phase of testing and is being is being trialed on 128 women, aged between 18 and 35, in
Britain and . Participants will be given a six day course of the treatment during their menstrual cycle. America
If proven to be effective, the drug could be available within four years. Dr. Jim Phillips, chief executive of Vantia Therapeutics, the company behind the discovery, is confident the drug will be success. He said, “I think it would be fair to call it a breakthrough, there is certainly no other treatment like it. From our research, there is nothing to suggest it won’t work.”
Period pain is caused by contractions in the womb as it sheds its lining during menstruation. Each contraction temporarily stops the blood flow to the womb causing the blood vessels in the muscle wall to compress and the tissue to be starved of oxygen – causing pain, called dysmenorrhoea. At the same time chemical, called prostaglandins, are released that induce stronger contractions and can cause more pain.
There are thought to be a number of ways to ease the pain – from relaxing exercises to placing a hot water bottle on the stomach. There are also several painkillers on the market, but there is currently no treatment specifically designed to stop the pain completely.
The new drug works by targeting the muscles that contract in the uterus wall, by doing these scientists believe this will stop the pain. If successful, the company could win a slice of the therapeutic market for period pains estimated to be worth around one billion dollars.
The result of the trial, taking place over the next two months, will be known by the middle of next year.