MSD Manual

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Conditions That Cause or Contribute to Muscle Cramps

Conditions That Cause or Contribute to Muscle Cramps



Medications and other substances

Use of certain medications and other substances

Angiotensin II receptor blockers and some beta-blockers (used to treat high blood pressure), bronchodilators (used to treat asthma), cisplatin, clofibrate, diuretics, donepezil, lovastatin, birth control pills (oral contraceptives), pyrazinamide, raloxifene, synthetic parathyroid hormone (teriparatide), tolcapone, or vincristine

Stimulants, such as amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine, ephedrine, nicotine, or pseudoephedrine

Sudden stopping of a drug or medication

Sedatives, such as alcohol, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines

Medications used to treat insomnia or anxiety


Metabolic and hormonal (endocrine) disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders

Tight calf muscles

Myopathies (disorders that affect muscle)

Structural disorders, such as flat feet or genu recurvatum (a deformity of the knee joint that causes the knee to bend backward)

Nerve disorders

Compression of a spinal nerve root

Water balance disorders

Other conditions

Exercise and lifestyle

Cramping during or soon after exercise

Sitting for a long time