Surgeon. 2005 Feb;3(1):7-10.

Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs versus oil of evening primrose in the treatment of mastalgia.

Qureshi S,Sultan N.

Department of Surgery Surgical Unit 11, Dow Medical College and Civil Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.


To compare oil of evening primrose (OEP) and topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) with respect to safety, effectiveness, rapidity of response, cost effectiveness and acceptability in the treatment of breast pain.

Study Design:

An open, non-randomised, comparative study of topical (NSAI) gel versus OEP was carried out, over a period of one year.

Patients and


Fifty female patients attending the outpatient department with moderate to severe breast pain were given one of the two agents alternatively, after selection.


Results showed that out of 25 patients treated with OEP, 64% had a clinically significant response after three months of treatment, compared with 92% with topical NSAIDs. Only one patient (4%) had side effects with OEP, while no patient had side effects with topical NSAIDs. Twenty per cent and seventy per cent showed acceptability as far as costs were concerned and mode of administration respectively, with OEP. The acceptability rate was 68% and 96% respectively, with topical NSAIDs.


This study has shown topical NSAIDs to be safe, effective, rapid and acceptable mode of treatment for cyclical and non-cyclical mastalgia.

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