Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome.
Design: Systematic review of published and unpublished randomised placebo controlled trials of the effectiveness of vitamin B-6 in the management of premenstrual syndrome.
Subjects: Nine published trials representing 940 patients with premenstrual syndrome.
Main outcome measures: Proportion of women whose overall premenstrual symptoms showed an improvement over placebo. A secondary analysis was performed on the proportion of women whose premenstrual depressive symptoms showed an improvement over placebo.
Results: Odds ratio relative to placebo for an improvement in overall premenstrual symptoms was 2.32 (95% confidence interval 1.95 to 2.54). Odds ratio relative to placebo for an improvement in depressive symptoms was 1.69 (1.39 to 2.06) from four trials representing 541 patients.
Conclusion: Conclusions are limited by the low quality of most of the trials included. Results suggest that doses of vitamin B-6 up to 100 mg/day are likely to be of benefit in treating premenstrual symptoms and premenstrual depression.