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Research on acupuncture and herbal medicine for PMT

Last updated: 12 March, 2017
by Steven Clavey, Traditional Chinese Gynaecology

Vitex agnus castus for premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: a systematic review.

“In conclusion, the randomized controlled trials using Vitex agnus-castus (VAC) for treatment of PMS/PMDD suggested that the VAC extract is a safe and efficacious alternative to be considered for the treatment of PMS/PMDD symptoms.”

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2017 Dec;20(6):713-719. doi: 10.1007/s00737-017-0791-0. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Cerqueira RO, Frey BN, Leclerc E, Brietzke E.

The objective of this study was to evaluate whether Vitex agnus castus is a safe and effective treatment for PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and to discuss the implications of these findings for clinical practice.

A systematic review of literature was conducted using PubMed and Scielo databases. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials (RCT) using V. agnus castus in individuals with PMS or PMDD that compared this intervention with placebo or an active comparator and included a description of blinding and dropouts/withdrawals.

The search was conducted by two independent investigators who reached consensus on the included trials.

A total of eight RCTs were included in this study. Most studies focused on PMS, and the diagnostic criteria of PMS and PMDD changed over the years. Three different preparations of V. agnus castus (VAC) were tested, and there was significant variability in the measurement of treatment outcomes between the studies. Nevertheless, all eight studies were positive for VAC in the treatment of PMS or PMDD and VAC was overall well tolerated.

Main limitations were differences in definition of diagnostic criteria, the instruments used as main outcome measures, and different preparations of VAC extracts limit the comparison of results between studies.

In conclusion, the RCTs using VAC for treatment of PMS/PMDD suggested that the VAC extract is a safe and efficacious alternative to be considered for the treatment of PMS/PMDD symptoms.

 

Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: systematic review.

Limited evidence supports the efficacy of alternative medicinal interventions such as acupuncture and herbal medicine in controlling premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments for premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder showed a 50% or better reduction of symptoms compared to the initial state. In both acupuncture and herbal medical interventions, there have been no serious adverse events reported, proving the safety of the interventions while most of the interventions provided over 50% relief of symptoms associated with PMS/PMDD.”

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 10;14:11. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-11.

Jang SH, Kim DI, Choi MS.

BACKGROUND: During their reproductive years about 10% of women experience some kind of symptoms before menstruation (PMS) in a degree that affects their quality of life (QOL). Acupuncture and herbal medicine has been a recent favorable therapeutic approach. Thus we aimed to review the effects of acupuncture and herbal medicine in the past decade as a preceding research in order to further investigate the most effective Korean Medicine treatment for PMS/PMDD.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted using electronic databases on studies published between 2002 and 2012. Our review included randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of acupuncture and herbal medicine for PMS/PMDD. Interventions include acupuncture or herbal medicine. Clinical information including statistical tests was extracted from the articles and summarized in tabular form or in the text. Study outcomes were presented as the rate of improvement (%) and/or end-of-treatment scores.

RESULTS:

The search yielded 19 studies. In screening the RCTs, 8 studies in acupuncture and 11 studies in herbal medicine that matched the criteria were identified. Different acupuncture techniques including traditional acupuncture, hand acupuncture and moxibustion, and traditional acupuncture technique with auricular points, have been selected for analysis. In herbal medicine, studies on Vitex Agnus castus, Hypericum perforatum, Xiao yao san, Elsholtzia splendens, Cirsium japonicum, and Gingko biloba L. were identified. Experimental groups with Acupuncture and herbal medicine treatment (all herbal medicine except Cirsium japonicum) had significantly improved results regarding PMS/PMDD.

CONCLUSIONS:

Limited evidence supports the efficacy of alternative medicinal interventions such as acupuncture and herbal medicine in controlling premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments for premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder showed a 50% or better reduction of symptoms compared to the initial state. In both acupuncture and herbal medical interventions, there have been no serious adverse events reported, proving the safety of the interventions while most of the interventions provided over 50% relief of symptoms associated with PMS/PMDD. Stricter diagnostic criteria may have excluded many participants from some studies. Also, depending on the severity of symptoms, the rate of improvement in the outcomes of the studies may have greatly differed.

 

 

 

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