For many women, breast pain resolves on its own over time. You may not need any treatment.
If you do require treatment, your doctor might recommend that you:
Jan. 16, 2013
- Eliminate an underlying cause or aggravating factor. This may involve a simple adjustment, such as wearing a bra with extra support.
- Use a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication. You apply the medication directly to the area where you feel pain.
- Adjust birth control pills. If you take birth control pills, skipping the pill-free week or switching birth control methods may help breast pain symptoms. But don't try this without your doctor's advice.
- Reduce the dose of menopausal hormone therapy. You might consider lowering the dose of menopausal hormone therapy or stopping it entirely.
- Take a prescription medication. Danazol is the only prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating breast pain and tenderness. However, danazol carries the risk of potentially severe side effects, such as acne, weight gain and voice changes, which limit its use. Tamoxifen, a prescription medication for breast cancer treatment and prevention, may be recommended for some women, but this drug also carries the potential for side effects that may be more bothersome than the breast pain itself.
- Golshan M, et al. Breast pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 17, 2012.
- Miltenburg DM, et al. Benign breast disease. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 2008;35:285.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Dec. 17, 2012.
- Salzman B, et al. Common breast problems. American Family Physician. 2012;86:343.
- Pearlman MD, et al. Benign breast disease. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2010;116:747.
- Rodden AM. Common breast concerns. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2009;36:103.
- Pruthi S, et al. Vitamin E and evening primrose oil for management of cyclical mastalgia: A randomized pilot study. Alternative Medicine Review. 2010;15:59.
- Parsay S, et al. Therapeutic effects of vitamin E on cyclic mastalgia. The Breast Journal. 2009;15:510.
- Evening primrose oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Dec. 18, 2012.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 20, 2012.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 20, 2012.
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