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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Recognition and Treatment.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) represents the more severe and disabling end of the spectrum of premenstrual syndrome and occurs in an estimated 2% to 9% of menstruating women. The most frequent PMDD symptoms among women seeking treatment consist of anger/irritability, anxiety/tension, feeling tired or lethargic, mood swings, feeling sad or depressed, and increased interpersonal conflicts. Women who develop PMDD appear to have serotonergic dysregulation that may be triggered by cyclic changes in gonadal steroids. The marked increase in the number of well-designed placebo-controlled studies in the past decade has established several selective serotonin reuptake- inhibiting antidepressants as effective first-line treatments for this disorder. Both continuous dosing and intermittent luteal dosing strategies lead to rapid improvement in symptoms and functioning. The present article provides a brief review of current information on the epidemiology, clinical presentation, neurobiology, and treatment of PMDD.

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