Breast pain


| Abstract | Cite as


Substantive changes at this update

Topical NSAIDs One RCT added.[7] Categorisation unchanged (trade-off between benefits and harms).

Oral NSAIDs One RCT added.[7] Categorisation unchanged (unknown effectiveness).

Bra-wearing New option. Categorised as unknown effectiveness, as we found no RCT evidence to assess its effects.


INTRODUCTION: Breast pain may be cyclical (worse before a period) or non-cyclical, originating from the breast or the chest wall, and occurs at some time in 70% of women. Cyclical breast pain resolves spontaneously in 20% to 30% of women, but tends to recur in 60% of women. Non-cyclical pain responds poorly to treatment but tends to resolve spontaneously in half of women. METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of treatments for breast pain? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to February 2014 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). RESULTS: We found 11 studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: bra wearing, combined oral contraceptive pill, danazol, gonadorelin analogues, progestogens, tamoxifen, and topical or oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Cite as

Goyal A. Breast pain. Systematic review 812. BMJ Clinical Evidence. . 2014 October. Accessed [date].

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