Symptoms and Their Interpretation in Patients Self-Treating Abdominal Cramping and Pain with a Spasmolytic (Butylscopolamine Bromide)—A Pharmacy-Based Survey
Stefan Müller-Lissner, Eckhard Schäfer, Anke Kondla
DOI: 10.4236/pp.2011.22010   PDF   HTML     6,126 Downloads   11,662 Views   Citations


Background: A majority of people suffering from functional abdominal complaints treat themselves with OTC medication. Aim: To gain information on symptoms and their interpretation in patients self-treating abdominal cramping and pain with a spasmolytic (butylscopolamine). Method: 4,680 questionnaires were distributed by 306 pharmacists in Germany to patients suffering from abdominal complaints and buying butylscopolamine. Key findings: Questionnaires from 1,539 respondents were returned, and 1,417 could be evaluated. Abdominal cramping was the major reason for buying butylscopolamine. Only a minority of respondents had consulted a general practitioner (27.3%) and even less a specialist (12.5%). Only a minority of subjects met expert criteria for irritable bowel syndrome (13%). There was a large overlap between self-reported dysmenorrhoea and bowel symptoms (35%). Conclusions: Real life conditions do not seem to be well covered by expert criteria. Differentiating bowel origin from uterine origin in pelvic pain syndromes seems especially problematic. This may particularly apply to the OTC market.

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S. Müller-Lissner, E. Schäfer and A. Kondla, "Symptoms and Their Interpretation in Patients Self-Treating Abdominal Cramping and Pain with a Spasmolytic (Butylscopolamine Bromide)—A Pharmacy-Based Survey," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011, pp. 82-87. doi: 10.4236/pp.2011.22010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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