Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Critics question use of antidepressants to treat PMS

From Canada.com:
Doctors are testing women taking antidepressants at the first symptom of premenstrual irritability, a move critics worry could lead to even more prescribing of "psychotropic" drugs to women.

A small new study shows antidepressants work within hours to dampen premenstrual anger and irritability. It usually takes several weeks for the drugs to start working in depression, and months before a maximum effect is achieved.

But studies suggest a popular class of drugs called SRIs, or serotonin reuptake inhibitors, work more rapidly to reduce symptoms such as irritability and anger.

Some women are already taking antidepressants continuously for severe PMS, or for part of their menstrual cycle - from ovulation to menstruation.

But the new study asked, how fast do the drugs really work?

"Do you need to take it a few days before the irritability starts, or would it be like taking an Aspirin - take it the same day when the symptoms first surface," said Dr. Mikael Landen, a psychiatrist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. ...more

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