pill bottles that have fallen over spilling some medications that are used to treat night time leg cramps

Nighttime leg cramps affect up to 60% of the population. They’re most common in the elderly, and cause disturbances to sleep and quality of life. Click here for a full review on nighttime leg cramps.

This article will discuss the drug treatments commonly used to treat nighttime leg cramps. Click here to learn about the drugs that can cause nighttime leg cramps.

Commonly Used Drugs to Treat Nighttime Leg Cramps

Since there are so many contributing factors behind night time leg cramps, there are several medications used. Most of these medications are primarily used for other conditions, but have some evidence of use in cramps.

Support from Randomized Controlled Trials [1]

  • Diltiazem
  • Naftidrofuryl
  • Orphenidrine citrate

Support from open-label studies, but not very strong evidence that it’s effective [1]

  • Verapamil
  • Gabapentin

No supporting studies [1]

  • Baclofen
  • Carbamezapine
  • Phenytoin

A Note on Quinine Sulfate

Quinine was used for decades, at a dose of 200-300 mg. It was found to be somewhat effective but has now been deemed unsafe for long term use [2]. Read this article to learn why.


Various medications, with somewhat limited evidence are used for nighttime leg cramps. Make sure you consider all the non-pharmacological treatment options first. Book in at Absolute Health and Wellness and our team of physiotherapists, chiropractors and naturopathic doctors may be able to help assess and treat your nighttime leg cramps.


Interested in learning more?

Read on in our series of articles on Leg Cramps!

About the Author - Dr. Johann de Chickera

Dr. Johann de Chickera is a naturopath at Absolute Health and Wellness in Paris Ontario

Dr. Johann is a licensed naturopathic doctor and co-owner of Absolute Health and Wellness. He completed his 4-year degree at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). His clinical focus lies in chronic disease, such as those related to the Gastrointestinal, Endocrine, and Immune Systems.

His approach to medicine relies on working with the patient to come up with a feasible, multi-factorial approach that addresses all complaints at once. He employs a strong background in diagnostic medicine and human physiology and pathology to diagnose and treat. His treatment involve a combination of nutritional counselling, botanical medicine, eastern medicine (acupuncture), nutraceutical supplementation and hands on physical medicine.

To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.

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