Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Medications
For more information about birth control pills and
progestin, see the topic
Additional hormone treatments
What to think about
Using your menstrual diary,
show your health professional which symptoms are the most bothersome to you. He
or she can then recommend treatment that focuses on relieving your worst
symptoms. See examples of symptom diaries or use this menstrual diary(What is a PDF document?).
If you are considering medication treatment, it
may be helpful to think about and discuss some of the following questions with
your health professional:
How effective has the medicine been for other women?
Some medicines and dietary supplements have been shown to be effective in
relieving symptoms of PMS. Other medicines used to treat PMS have been shown to
be no more effective than a "sugar pill" (placebo). Some
of these medicines, such as progesterone, may be recommended. But it is better
to use medicines, vitamins, or minerals that studies have shown to be
effective. You may also want to think about the cost of a medicine that may or
may not work.
What are the medicine's side effects?
The side effects of some medicines may be just as unpleasant as
your PMS symptoms. For example, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists
(GnRH-a) and danazol have significant adverse side effects. In other cases, the
relief from symptoms that a medicine gives may far outweigh any side effects it
How often will you have to take the medicine?
Some medicines must be taken every day, but others may only be taken when
your symptoms are present. If your symptoms are not severe and do not last
long, you may not think the benefits of medicine treatment are worth taking the
medicine every day.