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7.1.6 Premenstrual tension syndrome

1st choice No drug treatment, see prescribing notes below
2nd choiceNew generation COC e.g. Gedarel® 30/150 (desogestrel 150 micrograms, ethinylestradiol 30 micrograms) (3 x 21 pack)
- consider for moderate premenstrual syndrome

See Section 7.3.1 (off label use if used solely to treat PMS)

Fluoxetine 20mg capsules; liquid 20mg/5ml (for severe premenstrual syndrome) Dose [unlicensed use]: 20mg daily from days 14 - 28 for 3 months, then reassess benefit before continuing

Prescribing Notes

  • For more information refer to CKS guidance on premenstrual syndrome.
  • Hormonal manipulation may be useful, e.g. a new generation combined oral contraceptive, in some circumstances.
  • The COC can be used cyclically or continuously for premenstrual syndrome.
  • Fluoxetine is no longer licensed for the treatment of premenstrual tension but there is some evidence to support its use; informed consent should be obtained and documented.