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The premenstrual syndrome


When we last considered the premenstrual syndrome in 1965,1 we concluded that none of the drugs then advocated for its treatment could be confidently recommended and that more controlled trials were needed. Injection of progesterone 25–100 mg i. m. daily or on alternate days from the 14th day of the menstrual cycle until the onset of menstruation was claimed to help those with severe symptoms. Oral progestagens were also said to give relief, but in a controlled trial2 they were no better than a diuretic, a sedative, or a placebo. Although hardly any satisfactory trials have been reported since then, we are considering the premenstrual syndrome again because it is so common and because doctors have been widely accused of ‘ignoring and ridiculing’, and of not even recognising it.3

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