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Muscle Cramps (cont.)

Muscle Cramps Causes

Muscle cramps are felt to be caused by excessively excited nerves that stimulate the muscles. This can occur particularly after injury to nerve and/or muscle; dehydration; with low blood levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium; from certain medications; and even at rest. The pain that is associated with muscle cramps that are caused by poor circulation to the legs that worsens with walking is referred to as claudication. Deficiencies of certain vitamins, including thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine (B6), can also cause muscle cramps.

Common medications that can cause muscle cramps include furosemide (Lasix diuretic), donepezil (Aricept for Alzheimer's disease), neostigmine (Prostigmin for myasthenia gravis), raloxifene (Evista to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women), tolcapone (Tasmar for Parkinson's disease), nifedipine (Procardia for angina, high blood pressure), and the asthma drugs terbutaline (Brethine) and albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin, and others). Some medicines used to lower cholesterol, including clofibrate (Atromid-S), pravastatin (Pravachol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), and lovastatin (Mevacor), can also cause cramps.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/6/2014

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