PMS Treatment

PMS can be treated by controlling the physical symptoms or the emotional symptoms. Birth control pills and antidepressants are the two most common treatments for women who have PMS not controlled by diet, exercise or vitamins. In order to really determine whether this is depression, or a mood disorder, or PMS women are encouraged to track their symptoms relative to their cycle and let their gyno know what is actually bothersome to you. It is thought that Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI, actually for 'selective' seratonin reuptake inhibitors) can treat the emotional symptoms of PMS by changing the action at the actual seratonin receptor in the brain. This effect is at the receptors called the 5-HT receptor. Actually there are 15 known 5-HT receptors in the brain, which is why not all seratonin reuptake inhibitor medicines are the same. And some of the medicines we use have some agonist effect: they work to positively affect the amount of seratonin, and some work as antagonists: they work to go against the action of seratonin on the receptor. It's very complex which is why these SSRIs work well for mood changes that are really triggered by our hormones. Most common side effects are some dizziness and some nausea, especially in the first hours after taking your medication, and those effects are usually resolved by getting used to the medicine in the first month of use. For women with a need for contraception the birth control pill may be the best first treatment.


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