Posted by Deborah Pujoue on January 4, 2012
If you are one of the women who suffer from increasingly painful and uncomfortable PMS symptoms, you are not alone. However, you may want to think twice before listening to your doctor if he/she prescribes you antidepressants medications to help you treat it.
According to a new study, your symptoms may be the key on deciding what the best medication is when it comes to treatment. If you are like me, your fluctuating estrogen levels may make you extremely moody during those “ladies days.” It is at this time that you or your doctor may start thinking of adding SSRIs like Zoloft or Prozac to your medication strategy. In fact, researchers found that “of 447 women in clinical trials testing sertraline (Zoloft) for PMS, those with ‘mixed’ symptoms — multiple physical and psychological symptoms — were the most likely to see an improvement.”
However, it should also be noted that if your symptoms are purely physical (bloating, sore breasts), the drugs don’t offer much help at all. While I cannot deny that some studies have found that SSRIs can help some women who are experiencing severe PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), I must stress that 40 percent of the women who try the drugs don’t see any changes. However, their babies might if they take the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy.
I know that while I was pregnant with my kids, my PMS symptoms seemed amplified. While I am regularly moody during PMS, I was an absolute mess while pregnant. I never thought to take SSRIs during my pregnancies. But for those of you that do think about it, you should know that SSRIs are known to cause birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant. Birth defects like PPHN, cleft palate and neural tube defects are the most common adverse side effects linked to SSRIs.
“There’s an enormous range of PMS symptoms, and an enormous range in how severe they are,” said Ellen W. Freeman, a research professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, lead author of the study.