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September 16, 1983

Possible new relief for premenstrual syndrome

JAMA. 1983;250(11):1371-1375. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340110005003

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Treatments for premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, seem as varied as the symptoms themselves. Now to add to this diversity, Carlos Soto-Albors, MD, director of the PMS clinic and research fellow in reproductive endocrinology at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, has found in preliminary studies that 80% of 50 patients who suffer from PMS obtain relief from a new treatment, administration of spironolactone, an aldosterone antagonist.

Premenstrual discomfort is characterized by one or more symptoms ranging from breast tenderness, weight gain, abdominal bloating, and headache to anxiety, irritability, crying spells, depression, and even violence (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1981;245:1393-1396). These symptoms occur up to two weeks before menstruation in 70% to 90% of all women of childbearing age. In 5% to 40% of these women, symptoms are severe enough to substantially interfere with their lives and warrant the designation "PMS." There are also connections between PMS and psychiatric illnesses (JAMA