Fluoxetine improves functional work capacity in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder
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Interference with social and occupational functioning is a key criterion for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and distinguishes it from the less severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS). We conducted a post hoc analysis of the results of a previously reported study evaluating the efficacy of fluoxetine in the management of PMDD, to determine the extent to which women with PMDD perceived impairment in their functional work capacity during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. The effects of two doses of fluoxetine vs placebo in alleviating PMDD symptoms and restoring normal work capacity during this period were assessed. We measured baseline follicular vs luteal phase presence of 8 patient-rated functional work capacity-related symptoms on the Premenstrual Tension Scale-Self Rated in 320 women who met diagnostic criteria for late luteal phase dysphoric disorder, now known as PMDD. Women were then randomized to double-blind treatment with either fluoxetine 20 mg/d, fluoxetine 60 mg/d, or placebo daily for 6 menstrual cycles. All 8 work capacity-related symptoms were more likely to be present in the baseline luteal phase than in the baseline follicular phase. A statistically significant improvement from baseline to the average treatment score for the work capacity subscale was detected for both fluoxetine groups compared to the placebo group. This beneficial response to fluoxetine was evident by the first cycle of treatment. Our results demonstrate that fluoxetine at a relatively low dose of 20 mg/d quickly reduced symptoms that negatively affect work capacity and was well tolerated.
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