For many women, lifestyle changes can help relieve PMS symptoms. But depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe one or more medications for premenstrual syndrome. The success of medications in relieving symptoms varies from woman to woman. Commonly prescribed medications for premenstrual syndrome include:
Dec. 16, 2014
- Antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — which include fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), sertraline (Zoloft) and others — have been successful in reducing mood symptoms. SSRIs are the first line treatment for severe PMS or PMDD. These drugs are generally taken daily. But for some women with PMS, use of antidepressants may be limited to the two weeks before menstruation begins.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Taken before or at the onset of your period, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, others) can ease cramping and breast discomfort.
- Diuretics. When exercise and limiting salt intake aren't enough to reduce the weight gain, swelling and bloating of PMS, taking water pills (diuretics) can help your body shed excess fluid through your kidneys. Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a diuretic that can help ease some of the symptoms of PMS.
- Hormonal contraceptives. These prescription medications stop ovulation, which may bring relief from PMS symptoms.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ057. Premenstrual syndrome. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Premenstrual-Syndrome-PMS. Accessed Nov. 2, 2014.
- Yonkers KA, et al. Epidemiology and pathogenesis of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 2, 2014.
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 2, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 2, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 2, 2014.
- Marjoribanks J, et al. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for premenstrual syndrome (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001396.pub3/abstract. Accessed Nov. 2, 2014.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of premenstrual syndrome. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Nov. 2, 2014.
- Khayat S. Effect of treatment with ginger on the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms. ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2014;792708:1.
- Jang SH, et al. Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: Systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014;14:1.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.