This study sought to determine whether family history of alcoholism is related to patient reports of premenstrual alcohol consumption and whether family history of alcoholism is related to severity of anxiety-related symptoms, in women who suffer simultaneously from both premenstrual syndrome and generalized anxiety disorder. Fifty-four women with generalized anxiety disorder and prospectively demonstrated premenstrual syndrome were questioned about family history of alcoholism and alcohol consumption patterns across the menstrual cycle. Seventy-six percent of the sample reported having an alcoholic first- or second-degree relative. Furthermore, 74% of those women having a paternal-side family history of alcoholism, but only 22% of those without such a family history, reported increased alcohol consumption premenstrually. Forty-one of these women were assessed by means of psychiatric rating scales during both the premenstrual and follicular phases of the menstrual cycle. During the premenstrual, but not the follicular, phase of the menstrual cycle, women with a paternal-side family history of alcoholism experienced more severe anxiety-related somatic, but not psychic, symptoms of anxiety, than those without such a family history. These findings suggest that family history of alcoholism may be related to premenstrual alcohol consumption patterns and to the severity of premenstrually experienced somatic symptoms of anxiety in women with premenstrual syndrome, and that these women may be self-medicating with alcohol.