Q. I have bad leg cramps that wake me up early in the morning. I read that a bar of soap placed between the sheets might help.
Where precisely do you place it? I can't take quinine because it interacts with tamoxifen I take to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer. The cramps are really painful.
A. Quinine is no longer available as a treatment for leg cramps, even if you weren’t on tamoxifen. The FDA banned its use for cramps a few years ago.
Although we are hard-pressed to explain why soap under the bottom sheet would be helpful against leg cramps, many readers insist that it works. Here is just one example:
“I have been keeping a bar of soap under my sheet for quite some time. It does work, but I was never sure it did.
“Last night I had toe cramps. Instead of getting up to walk them off, I curled my foot as close to the soap as possible. The cramps went away in about 5 seconds.
“At the same time the calf in my other leg cramped. Again I moved the soap around near my leg, and the cramp was gone. Weird? You bet. Would I change this? No way. Who knows how this works, but it does.”
Not everybody benefits from the soap trick. Others report success with yellow mustard, pickle juice or magnesium. For more details on soap and all these remedies, we are sending you our Guide to Leg Pain.