In a recent study, researchers found that treating women with severe PMS for a longer period of time meant reducing the chances that those women would have a relapse.

PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, can cause mild symptoms of fatigue, irritability, cramping, and mild physical or emotional symptoms.

On the other hand, the symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with a woman’s quality of life. The standard treatment for severe PMS has been prescription antidepressants, like Zoloft (sertraline), but it hasn’t been clear how long this treatment needed to continue to make a difference.zoloft

Researchers compared women who were given a 4 month course of treatment against women who were given a 12 month course of treatment. They found that women treated for only 4 months experienced a relapse of symptoms about 60 percent of the time.

Women who were treated for 12 months experienced a relapse only 41 percent of the time. Not only did the women who were treated longer less likely to relapse, but it took twice as long for symptoms to resurface.

Women whose symptoms were completely relieved by the medication were less likely to have their symptoms resurface regardless of how long they were treated.

If you experience severe PMS, you may want to talk with your doctor about a longer course of treatment, or about finding a medication that can completely relieve your symptoms.