A double-blind trial of four medications to treat severe premenstrual syndrome

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1998 Jul;62(1):63-7. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7292(98)00035-6.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of fluoxetine (10 mg), alprazolam, propanolol and pyridoxine in the treatment of severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Method: One-hundred and twenty women were divided into four groups of 30 patients. Patients were submitted to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment and were given 3 months of placebo and 3 months of active drug. The active drug was pyridoxine (300 mg/day) in group 1; alprazolam (0.75 mg/day) in group 2; fluoxetine (10 mg/day) in group 3; and propanolol (20 mg/day and 40 mg during the menstrual period) in group 4.

Results: Fluoxetine in 10-mg doses obtained a mean reduction of 65.4% in symptoms, followed by propanolol (58.7%), alprazolam (55.6%), pyridoxine (45.3%) and placebo (39.4-46.1%).

Conclusion: Fluoxetine in 10-mg doses presented the best results for treating premenstrual syndrome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Alprazolam / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Pyridoxine / therapeutic use*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine
  • Pyridoxine
  • Alprazolam