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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

FEB 16, 2016
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What kinds of complementary medicine choices do I have for treating PMS?

Most of the following complementary therapies aren’t considered standard treatment for PMS. But you may find that one or more of them helps to relieve some of your symptoms. In general, these treatments are safe and don’t cause bothersome side effects.

  • Before you take any vitamin, herb, or mineral supplement, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. He or she can find out if it might interfere with other medicines you are taking.
  • Be sure to follow the directions on the label. Don’t take more than the maximum dose.
  • Some supplements and remedies should be avoided if you are trying to get pregnant.


Complementary therapies commonly used for PMS

  • Bright light therapy on days when PMS symptoms are present may help relieve mood symptoms.
  • Magnesium may help with certain symptoms of PMS.
  • Vitamin E is used by some women to help with breast tenderness related to PMS.


Complementary therapies sometimes used for PMS

  • Black cohosh is sometimes used to relieve menopause symptoms, and it might help relieve symptoms of PMS. If you plan to take black cohosh, talk to your doctor about how to take it safely.
  • Zinc may help improve PMS-related acne.
  • Vitex (agnus-castus, or chasteberry) might help relieve irritability, anger, breast tenderness, bloating, cramping, and headaches. But possible side effects include nausea, gastrointestinal upset, and malaise.
  • Ginkgo biloba may reduce breast tenderness, bloating, and weight gain.
  • Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis) may offer mild relief of breast tenderness.
Current as of: July 16, 2015



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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.

TOPICSHealthPremenstrual SyndromeWomen