Low-Dose Birth Control Pill Treats Severe PMS
First Oral Contraceptive for PMDD May Be Approved for Sale Early Next Year
SSRIs Don't Work for Everyone
Jean Endicott, PhD, says it is not clear if the new contraceptive is
uniquely useful for treating PMS and PMDD because other contraceptives have not
"What we do know is that the high-dose estrogen and progestin contraceptives
did not help and seemed to [promote symptoms] in some women," she says. "But
that doesn't seem to be the case with the low-dose formulations."
Endicott directs the Premenstrual Evaluation Unit at Columbia Presbyterian
Medical Center and is also affiliated with the New York State Psychiatric
She says the low-dose contraceptive could prove to be a useful alternative
treatment for the 35% to 40% of women with PMDD who are not helped by
antidepressants and for women who simply don't want to take them."
"Certainly for many women there is a stigma attached to taking
antidepressants," she says. "And others are bothered by the side effects,
especially the sexual side effects [seen with many SSRIs]. There is a need for
more treatment options."