Premenstrual syndrome is a term used to describe the combination of symptoms that women suffer just prior to their monthly cycles. Premenstrual syndrome usually includes a combination of physical and emotional characteristics that affect the women each month.

The most common premenstrual syndrome symptom is irritability. The women generally begin to feel irritable after they have completed ovulation, and the feeling is usually eased by the onset of her cycle flow.

Common Premenstrual Symptoms

The most common premenstrual symptoms are:

  • Acne appetite changes and cravings for certain foods
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Tender or sore breasts
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Outbursts of crying
  • Overly sensitive

How is premenstrual syndrome treated?

The majority of women treat their premenstrual syndrome with dietary and exercise changes. Some of them take over the counter medications to relieve physical symptoms like bloating or headaches. Relaxation is another method used to ease the tension of the condition.

Some women have far more serious premenstrual syndrome symptoms. These women suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. The symptoms associated with this disorder are so severe that they are debilitating for the women. Women who suffer from these extreme symptoms seek medical treatment from their doctors, and the number one way to relieve the symptoms of PMDD is the administering of antidepressants.

The other methods used to treat PMDD include birth control pills to change the hormone levels, and dietary supplements like saffron and calcium. Ginko balbo is another frequently used supplement in the treatment of PMDD.

Why do Antidepressants work to Improve PMDD?

The antidepressants that improve PMDD symptoms are Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and other antidepressants that are classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Serotonin is a chemical that is primarily used to signal the nerves, or to transmit messages between nerves. The antidepressants allow the serotonin to be available to the nerves for longer periods of time.

The monthly menstrual cycles interrupt the amount of serotonin that women have just prior to their flow starting. For women who have their serotonin levels affected to large extents the result can be severe premenstrual symptoms. The antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors allow the women to have greater levels of serotonin and fewer PMDD symptoms.

What this means

If you suffer from extreme premenstrual symptoms, you should see your doctor and talk to them about antidepressants. Not all women are good candidates for these medications and only a medical professional can evaluate you and determine if the medication will help to ease your symptoms.

You should keep a record of your symptoms before you begin the medication, and after you start to take it. This will alert you if any of your symptoms change, or if you develop any new symptoms. You will go through a trial and error period where the doctor adjusts your medicine doses until they find what works best for you.


Research has shown that the ingredients in Paxil can be harmful to teens. Teens who take Paxil might have increased thoughts of suicide.