Clinical experience of drug treatments for mastalgia

Lancet. 1985 Aug 17;2(8451):373-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(85)92506-1.


Results of randomised trials and open studies in 291 patients with severe persistent breast pain in whom breast cancer had been excluded showed that drug therapy produced a good or useful result in 77% of those with cyclical mastalgia and 44% of those with non-cyclical mastalgia. In patients with cyclical mastalgia good or useful responses were obtained with danazol in 70%, with bromocriptine in 47%, and with evening-primrose oil in 45%. The equivalent response rates in patients with non-cyclical mastalgia were 31%, 20%, and 27% respectively. Progestagens were not effective in either group. Failure to respond to one drug did not preclude response to a different drug. Patients with Tietze's syndrome did not respond to drug therapy, but 7 out of 10 responded to injection of lignocaine and hydrocortisone around the affected costochondral junction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Breast*
  • Bromocriptine / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Danazol / therapeutic use
  • Dydrogesterone / therapeutic use
  • Fatty Acids, Essential*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Periodicity
  • Plant Oils
  • Random Allocation
  • Tietze's Syndrome / drug therapy
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid


  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Plant Oils
  • Bromocriptine
  • evening primrose oil
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid
  • Dydrogesterone
  • Danazol