Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh, 8th May, 2009 : Women with severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) who take sertraline, are more likely to have a relapse than women who take the medication for 12 months, according to a recent report. Many women experience irritability, fatigue, stomach cramps, or some other type of mood or physical discomfort before the onset of their monthly period, for most the symptoms are fairly mild. When they are not and interfere with their daily activities and relationships, the condition is classified as PMS. The researchers found that duration of sertraline treatment made a difference only to women with more severe symptoms of PMS.
Dr. Ellen W. Freeman and colleagues in the Archives of General Psychiatry reviled that while antidepressants like sertraline can relieve PMS, its unclear how long women should be treated for the condition after they’ve had a good response to treatment. "This is a compelling indication of the importance of seeking remission as the goal of treatment of PMS," they conclude.
Researchers with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, examined relapse rates and other related outcomes in 174 patients who were assigned to sertraline therapy for 4 or 12 months. Sixty percent of women treated for 4 months had a relapse compared with 41 percent of those treated for 12 months. With short-term therapy, the average time to relapse was 4 months, and with long-term therapy it was 8 months. Also, women who had a complete remission of symptoms "were much less likely to experience relapse regardless of treatment duration or the severity of symptoms at baseline," Freeman’s group reports.
Source- Archives of General Psychiatry May 2009.