Common drugs that physicians prescribe for night-time leg cramps include: vitamin E; the muscle relaxant carisoprodol; and verapamil, a calcium blocking agent. Potential alternative treatments include blue cohosh and horse chestnut, claims Drugs.com.
Medical professionals should be consulted to prescribe the appropriate medication. Vitamin E treats a nutrient deficiency that could be contributing to leg cramps. Carisoprodol eliminates one cause by blocking pain signals from nerves in the legs to the brain. Verapamil relaxes the heart and blood vessel muscles, thereby increasing blood circulation and reducing another potential cause, reports Drugs.com.
The effectiveness of alternative treatments may not have been scrutinized to the same extent as the effectiveness of prescription drugs, says Drugs.com. Although quinine — a drug typically used to treat one type of malaria — is often used to treat night-time leg cramps, it is not approved for this use and could have serious or even fatal side effects, claims the FDA.