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April 1990

Verapamil vs Quinine in Recumbent Nocturnal Leg Cramps in the Elderly

Author Affiliations

Reading, Pa

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(4):920. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390160160052

To the Editor.—I read with interest the article entitled "Verapamil vs Quinine in Recumbent Nocturnal Leg Cramps in the Elderly" by Baltodano et al that appeared in the September 1988 issue of the Archives.1

The third paragraph of the article starts off with the statement, "To date, the most effective treatment (for treatment of recumbent nocturnal leg cramps in the elderly) has been quinine." The source of this statement was Medical Letters Drug Therapy.2 The article then goes on to state that, in patients whose nocturnal leg cramps do not respond to quinine, use of verapamil (120 mg) at bedtime was beneficial.

I was surprised that no mention was made of the use of diphenhydramine hydrochloride (Benadryl) (50 mg) at bedtime in the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps. I have been using this drug as a first-line treatment for nocturnal leg cramps with great success. If the

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