How elderly patients treat their leg cramps

Only one in five elderly people with nocturnal leg cramps are using any treatment for the condition, and many of the remedies are either dangerous or of dubious efficacy, a study suggests.

French researchers surveyed 630 patients with leg cramps attending 80 general practices, finding the most common drug treatments being used were quinine, which is no longer recommended, or magnesium, which has little evidence to back it.

Although quinine efficacy has been demonstrated, the risk of cardiac arrhythmias, allergic reaction and other serious side effects outweighs the benefits in reducing cramp frequency, the authors