An article posted on Cleveland.com which focuses on treatments for premenstrual symptoms includes treatments for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) — and one of the treatments listed is the controversial and potentially dangerous SSRI medication Paxil.
The NetWellness column is authored by Dr. Esa M. Davis, assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University. In it, she says that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft), have been successful in reducing symptoms such as fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems. These drugs are generally taken daily. But for some women with PMS, use of antidepressants may be limited to the two weeks before menstruation begins.
This seems like an extreme and potentially dangerous treatment option for an uncomfortable, but common side effect from a menstrual cycle. While regular PMS generally makes women suffer from various conditions like fatigue, bloating, cramps, headaches and nausea, moodiness and anxiety, the more serious PMDD can cause similar symptoms that are more severe. However, as uncomfortable as PMS or PMDD can be, treating the condition with more dangerous medications may be overkill, especially since SSRI medications like Paxil and Effexor have been proven to cause the exact same symptoms plus suicides and aggressive behaviour.
Current research shows that only 35-40 percent of patients’ conditions improve while taking SSRI medications like Paxil versus a placebo, while 60 percent of those patients suffered from severe side effects from the drugs. While the article does warn women to talk to their doctors before taking any of the treatments mentioned in it, the words are still out there.
While the NetWellness article page states that “NetWellness provides the highest quality health information and education services created and evaluated by faculty of our partner universities,” the article doesn’t mention how dangerous some of the medications that they are mentioning as possible treatments really are. The makers of Paxil have had thousands of lawsuits filed against them amid claims that they failed to warn the public of some of Paxil’s worst side effects, which can include suicide and aggressive behaviour toward others.