OBJECTIVE: Patients from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
study of progesterone suppository treatment for premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
were followed up to determine poststudy PMS symptom levels and medication
use. METHOD: An average of 1 year after the end of the treatment study, 129
subjects were contacted for telephone interviews. All subjects met criteria
for PMS before the progesterone suppository treatment, and their symptoms
were confirmed by daily symptom reports throughout the study. The outcome
measure at follow-up was the patient's global assessment of symptom
severity, which was also rated by the subjects during the treatment study.
The ratings at enrollment, end of study, and follow-up were compared.
RESULTS: Only 27% of the subjects (N = 35) were taking medications for PMS
at follow-up. Symptom severity at follow-up was less than at enrollment but
greater than at the end of the study. CONCLUSIONS: Some of the improvement
gained during treatment was maintained, but overall the subjects remained
moderately symptomatic. Validation of the PMS condition, education, and
support and caring may account for the symptom decreases during treatment,
and the end of treatment and withdrawal of these conditions may account for
the moderate return of symptoms.