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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common cause of physical, psychological and social problems in women of reproductive age. PMS is distinguished from 'normal' premenstrual symptoms by the degree of distress and disruption it causes. Symptoms occur during the period leading up to the menstrual period and are relieved by the onset of menstruation. Common symptoms include irritability, depression, anxiety and lethargy. A clinical diagnosis of PMS requires that the symptoms are confirmed by prospective recording (that is recorded as they occur) for at least two menstrual cycles and that they cause substantial distress or impairment to daily life. It is estimated that approximately one in five women of reproductive age are affected. PMS can severely disrupt a woman's daily life and some women seek medical treatment. Researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effectiveness and safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for treating PMS. They examined the research up to February 2013.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Researchers of the Cochrane Collaboration conducted a review of research about the effects of antidepressants classified as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on fibromyalgia. After searching for all relevant studies up to June 2014, they found seven studies that compared SSRIs with a fake medication. These studies included a total of 383 people. Most participants were middle‐aged women. The SSRIs that they studied were citalopram, fluoxetine and paroxetine. Five studies were each funded by pharmaceutical companies, and two studies were funded by public institutions.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Researchers in the Cochrane Collaboration conducted a review of research about the effects of serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) on fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). After searching for all relevant studies, they found 10 studies with up to 6038 people. Their findings are summarized below.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Sometimes even women don't quite understand what happens to them on the days leading up to their period. Women who have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may suddenly feel sad, irritable, unable to concentrate or weepy. But there are different ways to manage these symptoms.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: June 15, 2017

Some women who have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) have such bad symptoms on the days before their period that they can’t go about their usual activities. But there are various ways to cope with and treat typical symptoms such as pain, breast tenderness and mood swings.Most women who get PMS don’t have very severe symptoms, and they find ways to cope with them – like getting enough rest and avoiding stress around the time leading up to their period. There is a lot of advice out there about how to deal with PMS, including:getting enough exercise and doing sports,using relaxation techniques and meditating,not smoking,drinking less alcohol and caffeine, andeating less salt.Most of these lifestyle changes haven’t been looked at in high-quality scientific studies to see how they affect PMS. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t work. Women can try them out and see whether making these changes helps relieve their symptoms. Observing and recording symptoms and attempted "remedies" over the course of several menstrual cycles can help you find out whether the changes have affected the symptoms.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: June 14, 2017

This review evaluates the effectiveness of medical therapies for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We considered studies involving bulking agents (a fibre supplement), antispasmodics (smooth muscle relaxants) or antidepressants (drugs used to treat depression that can also change pain perceptions) that used outcome measures including improvement of abdominal pain, global assessment (overall relief of IBS symptoms) or symptom score. We found that bulking agents are not effective for treating IBS. There is evidence that antispasmodics including cimetropium/dicyclomine peppermint oil, pinaverium and trimebutine are effective for the treatment of IBS. Antidepressants are effective for the treatment of IBS. The side effects of these medications were not evaluated in this review. Physicians should be aware of the limitations of drug therapies and discuss these limitations with their patients before prescribing medication for IBS.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

There are a lot of treatments for the relief of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – but there is a lack of good-quality research on them. Because the causes of IBS are not clear, it is difficult to find suitable treatments. But research has suggested that at least some medications and treatments may help.The main symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. Most people only have mild symptoms that they can cope with fairly well without having treatment. Over time they learn to understand their body's signals. But some people have such severe symptoms that their everyday lives are greatly affected and it becomes very distressing. If that is the case, various treatment options can be considered.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 20, 2016

This review compared the efficacy, withdrawal rates and side effects of different antidepressant classes in the treatment of depression in older people. Thirty‐two studies provided data for the review. Our main findings indicate that tricyclic antidepressants (classical and tricyclic related) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are equally efficacious. However, when comparing the two tricyclic groups with SSRIs we found that tricyclic related antidepressants were similar to SSRIs in terms of overall withdrawal rate, and classical tricyclic antidepressants were associated with a higher withdrawal rate due to side effects. These findings are reflected in the differing side effect profiles when comparing both tricyclic groups with SSRIs. The findings of the review must be interpreted with some caution in view of the relatively low patient numbers and lack of side effect data.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

This summary will answer these questions: What is low back pain? How is low back pain treated? » Medicines » Nonmedicine treatments such as heat, exercise, and massage What have researchers found about treatments for low back pain? What are possible side effects of medicines to treat low back pain? What should I discuss with my health care professional about treating my low back pain?

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: November 15, 2016

Raynaud's phenomenon is a disease that causes decreased blood flow and circulation to the extremeties. Symptoms include discolouration, pain, and in some severe cases ulceration of the hands and feet. It is most often triggered by cold, stress, and emotional discomfort. Primary Raynaud's phenomenon has no underlying disease associated with it. Secondary Raynaud's phenomenon is most often associated with scleroderma, but may also be related to systemic lupus erythematosus, mixed connective tissue disease, Sjorgen's syndrome, dermatomyositis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease causing hardening and commonly affects the skin and internal organs such as the GI tract, lungs, kidney and heart.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

This review is important because it compares a new antidepressant, called agomelatine, with some other antidepressants used to treat major depression. Agomelatine works in a different way to existing antidepressants, it affects the hormone melatonin in the brain, and stimulates release of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

What is depression? What have researchers found about how antidepressants compare with talk therapy (also called counseling) and other depression treatments (exercise programs, acupuncture, and dietary supplements)? What should I ask my health care professional about treating my depression?

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: September 13, 2016

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: July 19, 2016

Expert-reviewed information summary about post-traumatic stress and related symptoms in cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their family members. Assessment and treatment of these symptoms are discussed.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: July 7, 2015

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