Non-Antidepressant Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome

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Although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are considered the first-line treatment option for premenstrual syndrome, several other such options are also available. Multiple studies have indicated that medications that suppress ovulation alleviate premenstrual emotional and physical symptoms. However, the use of such medications, such as the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, leads to prolonged low estrogen levels and cardiac and osteoporotic health risks. A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 466 women with premenstrual syndrome reported that calcium was effective in reducing emotional, behavioral, and physical premenstrual symptoms. Recent preliminary trials have suggested efficacy for cognitive therapy, light therapy, and tryptophan. Future studies of diet recommendations, exercise, relaxation, magnesium, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, opiate antagonists, and alternative therapies are needed.

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(suppl 12):22-27