If you have moderate to severe premenstrual symptoms even after you've tried home treatment and lifestyle changes, talk to your doctor
about using medicine. The most commonly used medicines for PMS are:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for mood-related symptoms.
PMS: Should I Try an SSRI Medicine for My Symptoms?
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen relieve premenstrual pain and cramps and reduce menstrual bleeding. Try to start taking an NSAID 1 or 2 days before you expect
pain to start. NSAIDs work best when taken before and at regular intervals throughout the premenstrual pain period.
Other types of birth control pills
(estrogen-progestin) are widely prescribed for PMS. They may improve bloating, headache, belly pain, and breast tenderness in some women. But other women may have worse symptoms or develop
Estrogen alone may offer some benefit for some women. But when estrogen is taken without progestin, it increases the risk of
uterine (endometrial) cancer.
Progestin (progesterone) has been used in the past for
PMS. But for some women, it may make physical and emotional symptoms
For more information about birth control pills and
progestin, see the topic
Spironolactone is a water pill (diuretic). It may reduce bloating and breast tenderness if taken during the premenstrual weeks.
Drospirenone, which is in the certain low-estrogen
birth control pills, acts like a diuretic to
relieve bloating and breast tenderness. This medicine may also help relieve symptoms of severe PMS or PMDD.
Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medicine, is only
recommended for a few days' use when other treatments have not worked. It
can make you sleepy, loses effectiveness over time, and can be
addictive. Long-term use may cause withdrawal or life-threatening
a synthetic male hormone, can relieve breast pain by decreasing estrogen
production. It isn't often prescribed.
If you are taking medicine for PMS, talk with your doctor about birth control. Some medicines for PMS can cause birth defects if you take them while you are pregnant.
The side effects of some medicines may be just as unpleasant as
your PMS symptoms. For example, GnRH-a and danazol have severe side effects. In other cases, the
relief from symptoms that a medicine gives may far outweigh its side effects.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 08, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this