Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Relapse Common Among Women Who Stop Taking Antidepressant Medication For Premenstrual Syndrome

Date:
May 4, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
About half of women whose symptoms of severe premenstrual syndrome are relieved by the antidepressant sertraline appear to experience relapse within six to eight months after stopping medication, according to a new article. Women with more severe symptoms and those who took the drug for a shorter period of time may be more likely to relapse.

About half of women whose symptoms of severe premenstrual syndrome are relieved by the antidepressant sertraline appear to experience relapse within six to eight months after stopping medication, according to a new article. Women with more severe symptoms and those who took the drug for a shorter period of time may be more likely to relapse.

Related Articles


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common health problems reported by women of reproductive age, according to background information in the article. Several antidepressant medications, including sertraline hydrochloride, have been approved to treat the most severe form of PMS (known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD). "There is little information about the optimal duration of treatment, although anecdotal reports and small pilot investigations suggest that premenstrual symptoms return rapidly in the absence of effective medication," the authors write.

Ellen W. Freeman, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, conducted an 18-month study involving 174 women with PMS or PMDD. Participants were randomly assigned to either a short-term or long-term treatment group; neither the women nor the researchers knew the treatment assignments. The 87 women assigned to short-term treatment took sertraline for four months and then were switched to placebo for 14 months, while the 87 assigned to long-term treatment took sertraline for 12 months and placebo for six months.

A total of 125 of the 174 patients (72 percent) showed improvement following treatment, most within the first four months. Relapse—defined as a return to the level of symptoms experienced before treatment—occurred in 41 percent of women after long-term treatment (median or midpoint time to relapse, eight months) and 60 percent of women after short-term treatment (median time to relapse, four months).

"Patients with severe symptoms at baseline were more likely to experience relapse compared with patients in the lower symptom severity group and were more likely to experience relapse with short-term treatment," the authors write. "Duration of treatment did not affect relapse in patients in the lower symptom severity group." The 41 patients (24 percent) who experienced remission, or a reduction of premenstrual symptoms to the normal post-menstrual level, after four months of treatment were least likely to experience relapse.

"How long medication should be continued after achieving a satisfactory response and the risk of relapse after discontinuing treatment are important concerns for women and clinicians, given the possible adverse effects and cost of drugs vs. the benefit of medication that improves symptoms, functioning and quality of life," the authors write. "These findings suggest that the severity of symptoms at baseline and symptom remission with treatment should be considered in determining the duration of treatment."

This study was supported by a grant from the Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. Sertraline and placebo tablets were provided by Pfizer Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Freeman et al. Time to Relapse After Short- or Long-term Treatment of Severe Premenstrual Syndrome With Sertraline. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2009; 66 (5): 537 DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2008.547

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Relapse Common Among Women Who Stop Taking Antidepressant Medication For Premenstrual Syndrome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090504161621.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, May 4). Relapse Common Among Women Who Stop Taking Antidepressant Medication For Premenstrual Syndrome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090504161621.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Relapse Common Among Women Who Stop Taking Antidepressant Medication For Premenstrual Syndrome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090504161621.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins