August 31, 2005

Paroxetine treats premenstrual mood disorder

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Intermittent dosing of
controlled release paroxetine (Paxil-CR) is successful for the
treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a
condition characterized by symptoms of severe depression,
irritability and tension, which occurs before menstruation,
researchers report.

"Both physicians and patients rate the treatment as being
effective against the symptoms of PMDD," lead investigator Dr.
Meir Steiner told Reuters Health. "It also reduces the
functional impairment that these patients experience."

The symptoms of PMDD usually begin about a week before
menstruation and last until a few days after the menstrual flow
begins, Steiner, of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, and
colleagues report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and

Paroxetine controlled release administered throughout the
menstrual cycle has already been shown to be effective against
PMDD, the researchers point out. They investigated whether this
might be the case when using intermittent dosing.

The team randomly assigned 373 patients with the disorder
to three treatment cycles with 12.5 mg or 25 mg of paroxetine
or placebo during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle -
two weeks after ovulation.

Mood scores, premenstrual tension scores and other measures
including patient assessment of PMDD symptoms showed
improvement over placebo in the paroxetine treatment groups.
Scoring of impairment of work and family life also showed
significant enhancement. Overall, improvements were similar to
those seen in studies in which paroxetine was administered
continuously throughout the menstrual period.

The researchers conclude that luteal phase treatment with
either dose of the drug "is effective and generally well

SOURCE: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
August 2005.