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Am Fam Physician. 2003 Apr 15;67(8):1743-52.

Premenstrual syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29406, USA. macfarll@musc.edu

Abstract

Premenstrual syndrome, a common cyclic disorder of young and middle-aged women, is characterized by emotional and physical symptoms that consistently occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Women with more severe affective symptoms are classified as having premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Although the etiology of these disorders remains uncertain, research suggests that altered regulation of neurohormones and neurotransmitters is involved. Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder are diagnoses of exclusion; therefore, alternative explanations for symptoms must be considered before either diagnosis is made. The disorders can manifest with a wide variety of symptoms, including depression, mood lability, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, headache, and fatigue. Women with mild symptoms should be instructed about lifestyle changes, including healthy diet, sodium and caffeine restriction, exercise, and stress reduction. Supportive strategies, such as use of a symptom diary, may be helpful in diagnosing and managing the disorders. In women with moderate symptoms, treatment includes both medication and lifestyle modifications. Dietary supplements, such as calcium and evening primrose oil, may offer modest benefit. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine and sertraline are the most effective pharmacologic agents. Prostaglandin inhibitors and diuretics may provide some relief of symptoms. Only weak evidence supports the effectiveness of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, androgenic agents, estrogen, progesterone, or other psychotropics, and side effects limit their use.

PMID:
12725453
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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