10 Best Leg Cramp Medicines Fully Tested & Reviewed

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Whether you’re a professional athlete or just a casual runner, you’ve probably had at least one instance of leg cramping in your life. When it happens at night, it’s all the more painful and jarring. For quick relief, consider cramp relief medication. Getting cramps that wake you up in the middle of the night isn’t just an annoyance, it can reduce the quality of your sleep and leave you feeling groggy and unrested the next day. We’ve selected the 10 best cramp relief medications to help you rest easy.

Last Updated:
By Sarah Coryell:

The most recent update brings to you more product details and highlights for you to look over and consider as you make your choice for what options are best for you. Be sure to check out our regularly updated informative research and FAQ sections below the article as well. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us!

Dee Cee Labs Formula 303
  • Dee Cee Labs Formula 303
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Long lasting and all-natural
  • Price: See Here
Theraworx Relief Fast-Acting Foam
  • Theraworx Relief Fast-Acting Foam
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • no harsh chemicals
  • Price: See Here
Caleb Treeze Organic Farm
  • Caleb Treeze Organic Farm
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Natural Ingredients - safe and non-toxic
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Leg Cramp Medicines

 

1. Dee Cee Labs Formula 303

Formula 303 is a muscle relaxant in tablet form that comes with a total of 250 pills and features a natural formulation. It works well for those under a lot of stress or those with sleep issues related to restlessness and muscle cramping.
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Medicinal Ingredients

On their own, the included ingredients might not be super effective but blended together they work well to relax muscles. Ingredients include Magnesium, Valerian root, among others. Reviewers liked that they recognized the ingredients and that they were natural.

Efficacy & Application

This formula is taken in the form of a pill. Reviewers found the Dee Cee Labs tablets to work well for reducing stiffness and overall stress. Users who tried the tablets felt more relaxed and were able to sleep easier. Some users found the pills effective for pain relief, as well. Users with painful nighttime leg cramps found this formula worked exceptionally well and helped them get better sleep.

Odor

Some users complained of a bad smell emanating from the pills. They do have a strong odor so it might wise to block your nose when downing thee tablets. Users also mentioned that the pills leave a bad taste in the mouth when taken. The strong smell is not indicative of a bad pill bottle; it's perfectly normal, though unpleasant.

Shelf Life

The bottle comes with 250 pills, plenty to last several months. Of course, this depends entirely on how often you decide to take the tablets. If you are using them daily, they will obviously not last as long.
Pros
  • Works well
  • Good for pain relief, too
  • Long-lasting
  • Natural ingredients 
Cons
  • Pills smell terrible 

2. Theraworx Relief Foam

Not interested in swallowing tablets or slathering on ointment to get rid of your painful cramps? Use a foam instead. This formula is easy to apply, won’t need to be washed off your hands, and helps to relieve cramping pain quickly. Comes in a 7.1 oz bottle. It’s also useful for reducing muscle soreness and tension.
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Medicinal Ingredients

Active ingredients include magnesium, vitamin E, aloe, and more. Users noted that the main active ingredient of magnesium is found in many other cramp relief products. If you’re already taking a tablet with this ingredient, using this spray isn’t going to increase pain relief.

Efficacy & Application

The bottle should be sprayed multiple times to cover the affected area for effective relief. Users should then massage the formula into the skin for best results and re-apply once again, repeating the process. The suggested daily application is twice per day.

Odor

Reviewers liked the faint smell of the spray and found that the scent disappears quickly once the formula was absorbed into the skin. The spray doesn’t leave a sticky film on the skin, either.

Shelf Life

Users liked the formula but did mention that they would have liked the effects to last longer. It’s not a permanent solution. An application requires several pumps of the bottle to provide relief, so the 7.1 oz bottle doesn’t last as long as some would have liked.

3. Caleb Treeze Organic Farm

Don't be fooled by the packaging. This isn't a leg cream or lotion. The Caleb Treeze Organic formula is meant to be ingested to relieve muscle cramps, spasms, and tension quickly. Formulated from an Amish concoction, this substance works fast to keep your moments of discomfort to a minimum. Includes all-natural ingredients.
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Medicinal Ingredients

The three main ingredients are all-natural, easily recognizable, and effective. Unfortunately, the included garlic, ginger, and apple cider do taste pretty strong. You will probably want to mix this stuff with some juice or simply block your nose and get it over with quickly! Reviewers liked that the ingredients were things you might have in the pantry at home and felt good knowing they were ingesting natural components.

Efficacy & Application

This stuff works fast once ingested. Expect relief within about 2 minutes or less. Relief from cramping should last over 24 hours, too, so you can rest easy. Reviewers agreed that the Caleb Treeze formula worked great for leg cramps and liked that it was fast acting. Just take a capful, drink it down on its own or mixed into another beverage (juice is probably your best bet) and wait until your cramps disappear.

Odor

The pungent ingredients might taste pretty bad, but the odor isn't that terrible. If you're sensitive to smells, this might be a good thing.

Shelf Life

Reviewers liked that the Caleb Treeze Organic formula lasted a long time. It's best kept in the refrigerator but doesn't need to be kept cold. You only need one swig of the cap, so there's enough in that bottle to last an extended period of time.
Pros
  • Natural ingredients
  • Effective formula
  • No bad odor
  • Long shelf-life
  • Organic formulation
Cons
  • Very strong taste 

4. Hyland’s (Tablets)

4. Hyland’s (Tablets)
These Hyland’s tablets are meant to provide relief from cramps in the body, particularly calf and foot cramps. Those who experience uncomfortable cramps during the wee hours of the night will find relief with Hyland’s products. They work quickly to get rid of cramps so you can go back to sleep and get a good night’s rest.
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Medicinal Ingredients

These don’t contain any kind of sleep medication, so you can take them at any time of day to relieve cramps. The main active ingredient is Quinine, which some users had qualms about using. If you’re unsure about whether taking this type of product is right for you, speak to your general practitioner.

Efficacy & Application

Some users weren’t sure if the pills actually worked to stop the cramps or if it was just a chance coincidence that the cramping they experience stopped immediately upon ingesting a tablet. Many users were happy with the results but were worried about the possible long-term effects of using a product with Quinine as the active ingredient. Users who found the tablets useful were comfortable using them only in the case of emergency and not as a daily preventative because of the active ingredient, which they did agree was effective.

Odor

The tablets do not have a smell and are easy to ingest.

Shelf Life

A pill bottle contains 100 tablets, and since most users used the pills only when required, the tablets should last quite a while.
Pros
  • Works well
  • Can be used day or night
  • No smell
  • Easy to take
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Safety concerns regarding the active ingredient

6. MgSport Magnesium

6. MgSport Magnesium
These MgSport capsules contain a blend of Magnesium and other vitamins to help fight cramping. The capsule is fine for vegetarians to ingest and is a great formula for athletes or those who are active on a daily basis and experiencing painful cramps.
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Medicinal Ingredients

The capsules contain 380mg of Magnesium that’s easily absorbed by the body. The tablets also include a variety of other supplements including B6, Vitamin E, and Vitamin D. This blend of vitamins encourages better absorption of the Magnesium. The company claims that ingesting this Magnesium capsule is good for preventing leg cramps and promoting heart health. Reviewers liked that the capsules contained clearly outlined ingredients.

Efficacy & Application

Users are instructed to ingest a single capsule before bed to help prevent painful cramping during the night. Most reviewers found these capsules worked very well. They were mainly helpful for leg cramps that occurred during sleep. Taken before bed, users found they were not awoken during the night with leg cramp pain. Users also seemed to tolerate the pills just fine.

Odor

The pills and included bottle do not have a strong pungent smell, which reviewers greatly appreciated. Other Magnesium supplements do have a very strong scent, so many users found these a lot more pleasant to take on a regular basis.

Shelf Life

The bottle comes in two formats, 60 capsules or 100 capsules. Users agreed that when taken at bedtime the capsule seemed to work well through the night to prevent unwanted cramping. If taken on a regular basis and once per night as recommended, these should last a little over three months.
Pros
  • Includes other supplements as ingredients
  • Easy to swallow
  • No smell
  • Works very well
  • Only need 1 pill at nighttime
  •  
Cons
  • Some didn’t find it as effective as others did 
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Cramp Defense with TRUEMAG

Cramp Defense with TRUEMAG
Cramp Defense is unique because it contains Truemag, an organic form of magnesium which is highly absorbed, and does not cause digestive upset when used as directed. This means it works for your cramps fast, and permanently; and it gets more effective with time.
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Medicinal Ingredients

The active ingredient in this product is called "Truemag", a proprietary formulation of magnesium fully bound to malate. This "fully reacted" form of magnesium is naturally found in fruits and vegetables. Truemag delivers the highest quality, purest form of magnesium -- with none of the residual inorganic forms of magnesium, such as oxides and hydroxides, which cause digestive upset.

Efficacy & Application

Start with one capsule per day (the goal is to use the smallest effective dose possible). Many people get results from 1 to 2 capsules a day. However, some people need more, depending on your weight, diet, lifestyle.
Most reviewers saw substantial results from this product. By fixing their magnesium deficiency, some have become totally free of their leg cramps; others have seen a significant decrease in the pain and/or frequency of their symptoms. This could mean that the pain is cut in half, or they only get cramps once a week instead of every night. Some people did do not see results, even after increasing their dose and taking it for more than a month.

Although everyone responds differently, many people saw results with their first dose. The manufacturer recommends trying it for 2 weeks to give it a full chance of working. If you don't like to swallow capsules, you can open them up and mix the powder with a food like applesauce or yogurt.

Odor

These capsules seem to be odorless, as there were no user complaints about odor.

Shelf Life

The bottle comes with 180 capsules, can last up to 6 months is taking one cap per day.
Pros
  • Highly absorbable
  • Non-laxative 
  • Fast-acting
  • Organic
Cons
  • Some users reported no relief
  • A few reviewers said the product made them dizzy

7. Hyland’s (Ointment)

7. Hyland’s (Ointment)
Another Hyland’s brand option to relieve leg cramps but this time in another format. This ointment is a good alternative for users who don’t like to swallow pills. It’s easy to apply and comes in an easily portable 2.5 oz container.
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Medicinal Ingredients

The ointment doesn’t have any NSAIDs, so it’s a good choice for those allergic to aspirin. Always check with your doctor first, though, if you’re unsure about using a medicinal product. The formula doesn’t contain any nasty parabens or pungent fragrances. The active ingredients include Arnica, Aconitum Napellus, and Magnesium, among others.

Efficacy & Application

The cream is meant to be applied to the skin of the affected area. When applied, the cream emits a warming sensation to help reduce pain while cramping subsides. Reviewers were pleased with how quickly the ointment worked once applied to the area that was cramping. Some users still prefer the tablet format, though, as they found applying cream was a bit too messy.

Odor

Reviewers complained of a pungent odor that took some time to fade away once applied. The smell is minty and very strong, say reviewers. For some, the smell wasn’t a bother, however.

Shelf Life

The tube is fairly small at 2.5 oz, and the directions do advise to apply liberally. For those with frequent cramping, the tube may not last that long.
Pros
  • Effective 
  • Works fast
  • Homeopathic ingredients 
  • Does not contain NSAIDs
  •  
Cons
  • Strong smell
  • Small tube
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9. WonderLabs Valerin

9. WonderLabs Valerin
This natural muscle relaxant contains 340 tablets. In addition to commonly included magnesium, this formulation also includes Valerian and Passion Flower. A good choice for those under a lot of stress or athletes who need to relieve muscle tension quickly.
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Medicinal Ingredients

Users appreciated the natural ingredients included in this muscle relaxant and favored it as an alternative to prescribed drugs. The formula does contain Valerian, so users should be careful to check with their doctor before using. Anyone with liver issues should be wary of using this product and do their research before purchasing and ingesting the tablets.

Efficacy & Application

Most reviewers found the WonderLabs tablets effective for relieving muscle tension. Some users complained of experiencing unwanted drowsiness after ingesting these tablets, however.

Odor

The pills have a strong smell because of the included Valerian, which users weren’t too fond of. Some users had trouble swallowing the pills because of the pungent smell.

Shelf Life

Reviewers seemed happy with how long the pills lasted and were pleased with the lasting effects of the pills.
Pros
  • Effective
  • Comes plenty of tablets
  • Natural ingredients
Cons
  • Tablets have a strong smell 

8. Lyte Fuel

8. Lyte Fuel
Another electrolyte formula that contains magnesium as its main active ingredient. A good choice for athletes who sweat a lot of salt and have trouble replenishing their electrolytes post-workout. Helps to reduce cramping after a long or intense sweat session.
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Medicinal Ingredients

Includes various necessary electrolytes including magnesium, chromium, zinc, copper, sodium, potassium, etc. The pills do not contain any harmful additives or artificial flavoring. Reviewers appreciated the high-quality ingredients and liked the inclusion of a variety of electrolytes not often seen in other cramp-relief products.

Efficacy & Application

Overall, reviewers seemed happy with the effectiveness of these Lyte Fuel pills. Those who experienced frequent post-workout cramping found the pills were effective in stopping cramping of the lower extremities.

Odor

Reviewers had no complaints about bad smells emanating from their pill bottles, so rest assured you can take these capsules with you to the gym or wherever without people giving you the side-eye.

Shelf Life

One bottle contains 100 capsules. This formula is meant to be used by athletes who experience muscle cramping due to lost electrolytes. If you’re not working out every day, 100 tablets should last a decent amount of time. Dosage is 1 or 2 tablets before exercise.
Pros
  • Great formula for athletes
  • Variety of effective ingredients
  • No odor
  • Good sized bottle 
  • No harmful additives 
Cons
  • Expensive

10. Genexa

10. Genexa
A medicine in pill format that provides relief for all lower extremity cramps. The Genexa tablets feature an organic formulation and are regulated by the FDA. The tablets also taste good, so they’re easy to ingest.
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Medicinal Ingredients

Ingredients included in the Genexa tablets are certified Organic, and the tablets do not contain GMOs.

Efficacy & Application

The pills are chewable and feature yummy flavoring, so it’s not a chore to take them when a cramp strikes. Reviewers liked the taste of the tablets, and the majority felt they worked as advertised for relieving leg cramps. Reviewers who had luck with the product also found that the pills worked quickly to get rid of cramping.

Odor

The tablets do not have an unpleasant odor, but they are flavored so that they are easier to chew and swallow. Users were pleased with the grape-like taste of the Genexa tablets.

Shelf Life

Each container comes with 100 tablets. Users are directed to take two chewable tablets as a dose, which means these may not last as long as other options.
Pros
  • Pleasant taste
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
Cons
  • Not effective for everyone 

 

Evaluation Criteria Explained

We evaluated our top ten picks by looking at the included ingredients, whether reviewers felt the medication worked well, whether there was any odor associated with the medication and how long the medication lasted.

Medicinal Ingredients 

Most of the options we looked at included ingredients that were well known to relieve muscle cramping (magnesium, for instance, is a popular anti-cramp ingredient). Some of the medications were created with organic substances and were free of any kind of additives or parabens.

Efficacy & Application

Of course, the main concern for individuals wanting to purchase and take this kind of product is whether it works. We looked at thousands of reviewer comments and chose the products that received the most positive reviews. Numerous happy customers raved about the beneficial effects of taking each of our picks for leg cramp medication.

Odor 

While most leg cramp medicines come in pill format, the odor can still be a problem because of the commonly used ingredients for this type of product. You’ll notice some of the options on our list do have a reported bad smell. Products with a pungent smell were still used by reviewers because of their effectiveness, however. If you are sensitive to smells, consider choosing a product that is truly odorless.

Shelf Life 

How many pills come in one bottle? Is it enough to last one person at least a month? Most products on the list come with at least 100 capsules but quite a few require users to ingest at least 2 capsules to make one dose. You’ll notice a few options are a better value than others on this list. While each leg cramp medication was well reviewed by users, not all of them will last the same amount of time on the medicine cabinet shelf.

Other Considerations

Here are a few other things to consider when browsing for leg cramp medication.

What causes leg cramps and how to prevent them?

Leg cramps are commonly experienced by the general population. They are painful and come on suddenly, often during the night when the affected person is sleeping. The pain that comes along with a leg cramp may go away in an instant or may last for several minutes. The cause isn’t always apparent but there are a few known reasons that someone might experience them:

  • Tired muscles
  • Tight muscles
  • Injured muscles
  • Poor sleep position
  • Nerve damage
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of nutrients

A variety of medical ailments can be associated with cramping, but usually, it’s tough to link leg cramps to a particular disorder, disease, or cause. Regular leg cramping is more likely to be associated with an underlying cause. Frequent cramping that lasts longer than a few minutes may be caused by something more serious and warrants a trip to the doctor.

Some suggest that there are ways to prevent leg cramps, to begin with. If you are experiencing a lot of cramping, look into whether you might have some kind of deficiency. Those experiencing leg cramps on a regular basis may want to try activities that help stretch tense muscles, like yoga. Ensuring you eat a healthy diet that features a variety of foods will ensure your body gets a variety of minerals and vitamins it needs to function properly. Making sure you’re properly hydrated may also help with cramping. And, of course, using the medications listed are another way to treat and help with this excruciating ailment.

Are these types of medicines safe to use? 

It’s always wise to check with your GP before using this type of product. Even so-called ‘all natural’ substances may feature ingredients that may interact with certain medications or aggravate certain conditions. Quinine has been a popular active ingredient in this type of medicine for a long time, and while useful, it does have serious side effects that warrant consideration. In 2010, the FDA warned against the use of quinine.

Keep in mind, these medications are intended as a cure for leg cramping. They are merely a temporary option. For those experiencing regular painful long-lasting leg cramps that interrupt sleep, these medications will simply be a band-aid for a bigger problem. Cramps that are causing you to wake during the night and run on fumes during the day are definitely more than a simple annoyance and should be talked about with your doctor.

Price

In order to determine the value of this type of product, it’s important to look at the number of capsules (or ointment) included in one container. Take a look at the dosage information. Do you need to take more than one pill for effective relief? How long will a bottle last also depends on how often you need to take the pills. If you’re taking them on a daily basis, it’s worth considering a trip to your doctor’s office. Otherwise, a bottle should last at the very least one month. Effectiveness and shelf life play a part in determining the overall value of this type of product.

 

FAQ

Q. What are some of the side effects of quinine?

A.  The FDA issued a warning in 2010 advising users to steer clear of products containing quinine. The effectiveness of this ingredients doesn’t outweigh the side effects. Quinine can have an effect on the heart, causing irregular heartbeats, among other serious complications.

Q. Can I stretch my calf muscle to try and prevent cramping?

A. Yes, if you find you have a lot of tension in your calf, it may be worth looking into stretches that you can do to specially target that muscle. Hamstring stretches may also help. Consider using a foam roller to relieve tight muscles.

Q. Are there medications that might cause leg cramping?

A. Yes. Some medications may be the cause for leg cramping. If you’re taking a medication that’s a known diuretic (a medicine that causes frequent urination) it may play a part in causing dehydration and thus may aggravate cramping.

Q. Should I see a doctor because of my leg cramps? 

A. It may be wise to visit a doctor if your cramping is significant. If you experience regular cramping that’s keeping you up at night and you’re having trouble getting restful sleep, visiting your GP may be a good idea.

Q. Can I get cramping in places other than my calf?

A. Yes. Cramping can occur in the thighs or your feet.

Q. If I get a cramp, what should I do?

A. It may be painful but it will help to stretch it out and massage the area as the pain subsides. Some of the medications on this list can be taken with the onset of a cramp to help relieve the soreness and tension of the muscle spasms.

Q. Is cramping ever a sign of an acute issue?

A. Cramping may occur because the body is producing a toxicity response. If you have ingested or come into contact that is very poisonous, you may experience acute painful cramping. In this instance, a visit to the emergency room is likely in order.

Sources

  1. Markham Heid, Here's Why Your Legs Always Cramp At Night—And How To Make The Pain Go Away, Online Magazine Website, Jan 29, 2018
  2. NA, Leg cramps, Health Website, Jan 03, 2018
  3. Christian Nordqvist, Causes and treatment for leg cramps, Medical News Website, Dec 01, 2017
  4. RICHARD E. ALLEN, MD, and KARL A. KIRBY, MD, Nocturnal Leg Cramps, Journal Article, Dec 10, 2018
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