Analgesic efficacy of French maritime pine bark extract in dysmenorrhea: an open clinical trial

J Reprod Med. 2004 Oct;49(10):828-32.


Objective: To clarify the effect of Pycnogenol (Horphag Research, Switzerland), French maritime pine bark extract, on menstrual pain.

Study design: We treated 47 patients with menstrual pain, aged 21-45 years, with Pycnogenol at 30 mg (2 capsules) orally twice a dysmenorrl day. The administration of Pycnogenol began on the eighth day of the first menstrual cycle and continued until the seventh day of the third menstrual cycle. Improvement was evaluated by measuring scores of symptoms during the first and second, and first and third menstrual cycle using the Wilcoxon rank sum test.

Results: Treatment with Pycnogenol lowered the pain scores for abdominal pain significantly (p < 0.05) as compared to pretreatment values. Pain relief in the second cycle of treatment was better as compared to the first cycle of treatment, as indicated by a higher level of significance (p < 0.01) and lower median pain score. The number of days with abdominal pain showed a trend toward fewer days with pain; however, the difference failed to reach significance. Relief of back pain was not that pronounced during the first cycle treated with Pycnogenol; the pain scores were not significantly different from those in the pretreatment period. However, continuation of treatment during the second cycle produced significant pain relief (p < 0.01). The number of days with back pain decreased. The number of days with pain was significantly lower (p < 0.01) in the second cycle of treatment with Pycnogenol.

Conclusion: Pycnogenol has a potential analgesic effect on menstrual pain.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Analgesia / methods
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Dysmenorrhea / diagnosis
  • Dysmenorrhea / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Phytotherapy / methods
  • Plant Extracts
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • pycnogenols