Treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder with luteal phase dosing of sertraline

Uriel Halbreich, Linda S Kahn
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 2003, 4 (11): 2065-78
Sertraline (Zoloft, Pfizer Inc.) is a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) which has been approved by the US FDA for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which affects at least 5 - 8% of women of reproductive age. It is characterised by cyclic appearance at the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, and disappearance following the beginning of menses, with no symptoms during at least 1 week of the cycle - usually during the mid-follicular phase. Due to the cyclic luteal occurrence of PMDD, luteal phase dosing of SSRIs has been suggested and proven effective for sertraline as well as several other SSRIs. The clinical response of sertraline is reported to be within several days following initiation of treatment. Despite repeated cyclic discontinuation, no significant discontinuation adverse effects have been reported. In addition to its proven clinical efficacy, luteal-phase dosing may offer the advantages of minimising adverse effects of SSRIs while reducing the personal and economic burden of taking a prescription medication continuously for long periods and thus increasing compliance.

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