Treatment of premenstrual disorders

J Reprod Med. 2006 Apr;51(4 Suppl):359-70.


Premenstrual disorders are characterized by a wide variety of affective and somatic symptoms. This diversity of presenting symptoms has led to the use of many different types of treatment approaches, none of which has proven to be successful in all women with these disorders. Non-pharmacologic options include aerobic exercise, dietary changes and supplementation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Of the pharmacologic agents used to treat premenstrual symptoms, 3 selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have received a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indication for treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Agents that are often used off label to treat premenstrual symptoms include spironolactone and oral contraceptives (OCs); gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and alprazolam are used less frequently in these patients. OCs have historically had little consistent data from controlled clinical trials to support their efficacy until a number of recent studies showed that an OC containing the novel progestin drospirenone is effective in reducing premenstrual symptoms in many women. A new drospirenone-containing OC formulation that is administered for 24 days in a 28-day cycle has been shown to be effective in treating PMDD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alprazolam / therapeutic use
  • Androstenes / therapeutic use
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Contraceptives, Oral*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / agonists
  • Humans
  • Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / diet therapy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / psychology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / therapy*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Spironolactone / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Androstenes
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Spironolactone
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • drospirenone
  • Alprazolam