Pharmacotherapy of premenstrual syndromes and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: current practices

Mohamed F Mitwally, Linda S Kahn, Uriel Halbreich
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 2002, 3 (11): 1577-90
Premenstrual syndromes (PMS) and especially premenstrual dysphoic disorder (PMDD) affect a large segment of the population of women of reproductive age. Treatment is necessary in approximately 2-10% of women with PMS and PMDD because of the degree of impairment and distress experienced. Treatment modalities are increasingly based on hypotheses concerning possible underlying biological mechanisms: mostly ovulation-related hormonal changes and serotonergic abnormalities. Two treatment modalities distinguish themselves as highly effective: suppression of ovulation and specific serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. Suppression of ovulation is effective for a wide range of PMS, while SSRIs are effective for PMDD with some degree of efficacy for physical symptoms. The SSRIs are also efficacious when administered intermittently--only during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

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