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New Birth Control Pill Smoothes Away PMS

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Meanwhile, Brown says that 21 centers are now participating in a placebo-controlled trial of Yasmin to treat premenstrual dysphorric disorder, also called PMDD. "We've decided to bypass PMS and go all the way to PMDD, and we are very hopeful that this pill will demonstrate a benefit for this disorder," she says.

Brown says that one reason she is interested in treating PMDD with a birth control pill is her belief that women are "more willing to take a birth control pill than they are to take antidepressant. There is still a stigma surrounding the use of antidepressants."

Fitzgerald agrees with this assessment. In her practice in Providence, she uses several different types of birth control pills to treat PMS. "But these researchers are studying PMDD because it is a specific, defined clinical disorder, so you can more easily quantify results. If they get approval of this pill for PMDD, obstetricians will be using it for PMS in our offices," she says.

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