Treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Andrea F Luisi, Jayne E Pawasauskas
Pharmacotherapy 2003, 23 (9): 1131-40
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms of PMDD occur during the last week of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and usually abate at the onset of menses. About 3-8% of all menstruating women experience PMDD, which can lead to significant functional impairment. Several randomized, controlled trials have assessed the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the treatment of PMDD. The SSRIs were found to significantly improve symptoms, particularly psychological or behavioral symptoms, during the luteal phase in women with PMDD. Also, SSRIs were found to improve the quality of life in women with PMDD. Headache, fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety were often reported as adverse effects. A decrease in libido or sexual dysfunction also was reported. In recent studies, intermittent SSRI therapy was found to be effective treatment for PMDD and allows a woman to take the drug for only 14 days each month. Intermittent SSRI therapy should be recommended before continuous daily dosing of SSRIs in the treatment of PMDD.

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