Longer treatment seen better for severe PMS
Women with severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) who take sertraline, better known as Zoloft, for 4 months are more likely to have a relapse than women who take the medication for 12 months, according to a new report.
While many women experience irritability, fatigue, stomach cramps, or some other type of mood or physical discomfort before the onset of their monthly period, for most the symptoms are fairly mild. When they are not and interfere with their daily activities and relationships, the condition is classified as PMS.
While antidepressants like sertraline can relieve PMS, it's unclear how long women should be treated for the condition after they've had a good response to treatment, note Dr. Ellen W. Freeman and colleagues in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
To investigate, the researchers with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, examined relapse rates and other related outcomes in 174 patients who were assigned to sertraline therapy for 4 or 12 months.
Sixty percent of women treated for 4 months had a relapse compared with 41 percent of those treated for 12 months. With short-term therapy, the average time to relapse was 4 months, and with long-term therapy it was 8 months.
The researchers found that duration of sertraline treatment made a difference only to women with more severe symptoms of
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