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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2001 Sep;2(9):1367-82.

Oral contraceptives and mood.

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School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, SUNY Clinical Center, Buffalo 14215, USA.


The past 40 years of research on the mood and behavioural effects of combined oral contraceptives (OCs) have yielded inconclusive results due to dramatic changes in the compounds and to methodological flaws inherent in studies undertaken to assess the effects of OCs. Since the late 1960s, the dosages of oestrogen and progestin in marketed OCs significantly declined and novel progestins were developed to deliver higher levels of progestogenic activity with a lower risk of adverse oestrogenic and androgenic effects. This review evaluates controlled, comparative studies that have focused on the efficaciousness of OCs as treatment for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and those examining whether OCs may cause negative mood. It is suggested that the mood and behavioural effects of OCs might be attributed to different progestin compounds and possibly, their oestrogen ratios. There is a great need for more longitudinal, randomised, placebo-controlled studies to further clarify the mood and behavioural effects of OCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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