Meds for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Updated on July 29, 2010
M.B. asks from Colorado Springs, CO
12 answers

I'm pretty sure I have PMDD. I am a horrible mom when I have PMS, I cry a lot, cannot handle things, lose my temper, and feel depressed. Are there medications for this? I've never taken any kind of medication, but I think I may need to try. My husband and kids can't take it anymore and neither can I.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the tips! I'm going to Whole Foods to buy some good quality fish oil, magnesium and calcium. I'm going to try to cut down on caffeine when I have PMS. I'm at the 'good' phase of my cycle right now. The first 3 weeks are great. It's the week before my period that is AWFUL. I am going to ramp up on those vitamins, excercise more, and see how it goes at the end of this cycle. I really don't want to take meds if i don't need to - I am the type that if there is a bad side effect I end up getting it. I am not clinically depressed. I feel very productive and happy and great most of the time - but with PMS I lack energy, have a short fuse, get grossed out by certain foods, and just feel yucky. I can't take hormones because I've had cancer, so the pill is out.

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answers from Provo on

I have to say that I agree with Jodi here. Progesterone deficiency can cause a lot of the symptoms that you speak of. I got my hormones balanced and I feel better now then when I was 20 years younger. It does make such a difference.

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answers from Boise on

I tried Sarafem once. I HATED IT!!! AGGGHHH!!! I felt like I had had a lobotomy.

I 2nd the fish oil, also eat EXTRA protein for one to two weeks before your period. It really helps your body and mood. I get PMS the worse when I have a crappy diet, am not exercising, and have no balance in my life.

I think instead of meds, change your diet and add supplements first, and make sure you get sunshine on your face every day, like go on a brisk walk. Also, it really helps to plan some girl dates with a girlfriend during PMS time because they will sympathize with you rather than be all disappointed and mad at you.

I promise those things make a huge difference. Also, if you love white bread and processed sugar, cut way back on them before your period. I know the last thing you want to do when you are depressed and stressed is to eat healthy, but if you eat those healthy foods and supplements and then let yourself have a treat, you will still be okay.

I also browsed your other question about no libido. If you are drained from your kids and responsibilites, it is natural to have no libido. You have got to get some exercise and good food in your diet, and not only that, time for fun with friends, away from your kids. That is will help with all your other problems. Also, try Qi Gong for your anxiety. You sound a lot like me. I used to freak out over having anyone babysit my kids. I also get bad PMS sometimes, to the point of ridiculous where I am embarrassed by how angry and moody I get. All those things are related to your diet and having to work too much with no play. Medication may calm your emotions down but they will not fix the problems in your life and won't make you healthy.

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answers from Hartford on

High potency and quality fish oil has helped my moodiness tremendously, Omega 3 (DHA) to be specific. Also, high potency Magnesium and Calcium supplements are known to help with premenstrual moodiness. You can find these at local natural food/health stores.

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answers from Denver on

Medications can cause all kinds of unwanted side effects. There are lots of natural supplements that can balance hormones. Fish oil is part of it--also evening primrose oil for the second half of the cycle. Vitex (also known as chaste tree berry) is a great herb for balancing hormones. I can recommend a great natural doc in the Denver area that will do the blood tests for you to find out where you are hormonally but treat you naturally instead of with medication. If you are interested please let me know.

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answers from Boca Raton on

You might also want to have a hormone profile done. Perhaps there is an excess or deficiency of something that would be relatively simple to remedy.

That's my only issue with some of the psych meds - they might mask the real problem. I'm not against them per se (some people do truly need them) but I like to investigate other alternatives first.

Good luck - and great job recognizing the problem.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I was diagnosed with depression 10 years ago after my husband and children couldn't handle it anymore, they felt like they were always walking on eggshells and never knew when I would blow. I took 50 ml. of Zoloft for 7 years, and it worked however, I was not depressed I felt. I took myslef off it a few times (as doctor prescribed) and would be alright and then bam!! back to the meany!! I finally found a doctor that diagnosed me with PMDD and prescribed me with the zoloft but only take it when needed as it will work right away on someone with PMDD. Thats how its been for 3 years now, I feel much better not taking pills for something I didn't feel I had and when I feel the onset coking on I take my pills for a few days and it takes off the edge. Please go and get some help, you will feel so much better for it and your family will too.



answers from Dallas on

I took Sarafem a few years back and it was a huge help:
Fluoxetine (Sarafem) is used to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. Fluoxetine is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
Now I am on a progesterone only pill (the mini-pill) - I believe it was the estrogen in the regular pill that made me nuts, so that's why I don't take the Sarafem anymore. I've been on the mini pill for 4 years, and it's made a world of difference - plus I hardly ever even get my period anymore on it (which can be nerve wracking, but it's been effective). It's not as reliable as the regular pill, but still a good option if you do need birth control.



answers from Dothan on

Sta away from Yaz, its known to cause bloodclots more so than any other BC. Everyone I known taking it has had a clot (thankfully minor) from taking it. Check with your doctor on what else is available out there



answers from Denver on

Talk to your doctor. Consider therapy. Use meds as a last resort. (I too have PMDD and have been med-free for almost 4 years.)



answers from Salt Lake City on


It's a birth control pill but it is also approved as treatment for PMDD. It also supposedly causes shorter, lighter periods.

There are risks for some women, so let your doctor know of any other health issues you have. If it only happens during the PMS time, Yaz can be a good solution. Your OB/GYN can help you determine of it is what you need.



answers from Washington DC on

I know the birth control Yaz helps with the symptoms of PMDD , but it does have some other side effects. It would be best to talk to your Dr about options.



answers from Boise on

YES. You need Magnesium and vit B!!!!!!!

Magnesium malate 500+ mg daily, or magnesium citrate.

And liquid b complex drops daily, under the tounge for best absorption.

Third, drink more water and cut out the coffe/tea.

Do these threre things and you wont screw up your body on prescription meds. These three things support the central NERVEous system, and keep your adrenaline lower. Eating organ meats(liver, kidney) also will increase wellness.
Stay away from estrogens.(birth control, soy, corn, parabens in lotions) You can make progesterone by eating raw virgin coconut oil, 2 T a day, from a spoon.

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