Women who are given antidepressants for PMS may only need them for two weeks a month

Women who have been given antidepressants to deal with premenstrual mood problems may only need to take the pills for two weeks a month, a study has found.

This intermittent dosing regimen has been shown to be as effective as continuous pill-taking at controlling symptoms and may help patients avoid drug-related addiction and withdrawal, the researchers at Maudsley Hospital in south London added.

The team came to its conclusions after conducting an analysis of eight studies involving 460 women with severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, both of which cause mental health problems and are linked to fluctuating hormone levels.

All have been prescribed standard antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to relieve symptoms.

Women who have been given antidepressants to deal with premenstrual mood problems may only need to take the pills for two weeks a month, a study has found. (file photo)

Women who have been given antidepressants to deal with premenstrual mood problems may only need to take the pills for two weeks a month, a study has found. (file photo)

Women who have been given antidepressants to deal with premenstrual mood problems may only need to take the pills for two weeks a month, a study has found. (file photo)

Some took the treatment every day, while others followed what’s known as a luteal phase dosing schedule. This involves starting the pills on day 14 of the menstrual cycle – the luteal phase when ovulation occurs – and taking them for two weeks, stopping on the first day of the next period.

The analysis found no significant difference in response rates and symptoms between the two groups, leading them to conclude that the intermittent dosing approach was equally effective.

It is estimated that about 30 percent of women suffer from moderate to severe PMS, which is characterized by distressing physical, behavioral, and psychological changes.

Symptoms include mood swings, depression, fatigue, irritability, and aggression. Bloating, breast tenderness, clumsiness, headaches, and weight gain are also common.

This intermittent dosing regimen has been shown to be as effective as continuous pill-taking at controlling symptoms and may help patients avoid drug-related addiction and withdrawal, the researchers at Maudsley Hospital in south London added. (file photo)

This intermittent dosing regimen has been shown to be as effective as continuous pill-taking at controlling symptoms and may help patients avoid drug-related addiction and withdrawal, the researchers at Maudsley Hospital in south London added. (file photo)

This intermittent dosing regimen has been shown to be as effective as continuous pill-taking at controlling symptoms and may help patients avoid drug-related addiction and withdrawal, the researchers at Maudsley Hospital in south London added. (file photo)

Premenstrual dysphoria affects between five and eight percent of patients. While reducing stress, eating healthy, and limiting alcohol consumption can reduce symptoms, those with the worst problems are often prescribed hormone treatments or SSRI antidepressants to help.

The researchers concluded that the intermittent dosing regimen is an important option: “Because SSRIs are not taken continuously, there is a limited risk of withdrawal symptoms.”

GP Dr. Philippa Kaye, a women’s health expert, said: “I applaud any research on the effects of the menstrual cycle on mental health – it means researchers are finally taking this seriously.”

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/women-given-antidepressants-for-pms-may-only-need-them-for-two-weeks-per-month/ Women who are given antidepressants for PMS may only need them for two weeks a month

Brian Ashcraft

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