Women being treated for PMS may receive different treatment plan one from another because although they may have the same diagnosis (premenstrual syndrome PMS), they may experience different symptoms, so the treatment needs to be different too. PMS treatment may include diet or lifestyle improvements, over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, therapies and natural remedies.
Medications both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription:
A doctor may use both OTC and prescription medications while treating a woman for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Some of the more common medications used to treat PMS are antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), diuretics, oral contraceptives and medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera) and also acetaminophen.
Antidepressants such as Prozac, and Sarafem or Paxil and Zoloft are successful at reducing some of the PMS symptoms such as fatigue, food cravings, and also insomnia. These medications are usually taken daily for a limited time (during the two weeks before menstruation).
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, and Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help with cramping and breast tenderness.
Diuretics like Spironolactone, can help reduce weight gain, and swelling and bloating associated with PMS.
Oral contraceptives are a prescription medication used to stop ovulation and stabilize hormonal mood swings experienced in PMS. They are also a form of birth control. Oral contraceptives such as Yaz are popular among young women and contain progestin drospirenone, which reduces the physical and emotional symptoms of both PMS and PMDD.
Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera) can be used for severe PMS or PMDD. It is given in injection form and is used to stop ovulation. Unfortunately this injection has side effects that are much like PMS symptoms and include increased appetite, weight gain, headache and depression.
A woman with PMS may notice a reduction in symptoms if she eats smaller, more frequent meals. Doing her meals this way may reduce the bloating and the sensation of fullness she feels when she eats bigger meals. If she chooses foods that are high in complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains she may also notice a reduction in her symptoms. She may also find that limiting her salt and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also reduce her symptoms.
Her doctor may also suggest that if she does not already do so, that she participate in a regular moderate exercise program of at least 30 minutes of exercise 4 to 5 times a week. Walking, cycling, swimming and aerobic activity are all great choices for women suffering from PMS. Regular exercise improves overall health, and can alleviate symptoms of PMS such as fatigue and depression.
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