When taking SSRIs for PMDD, it's important to give yourself some time to evaluate if it is the right fit for you. It is suggested to try a specific SSRI or specific dosage for about 2-3 cycles before deciding if it provides sufficient relief. The existing SSRI treatment studies have assessed efficacy of SSRI treatment for PMDD over three to six consecutive menstrual cycles, thus the 2-3 cycle trial period before moving onto a different treatment option.
If the SSRI you are taking is not providing sufficient relief or is producing side effects, you may discuss with your provider: 1) adjusting the dose, 2) trying a different SSRI. The FDA has approved the use of luteal dosing of fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine CR (Paxil CR) for women with PMDD. Sertraline is commonly used in clinical studies among women with PMDD or PMS.
-Liisa Hantsoo, PhD, July 18, 2019