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What medications can help me manage perimenopausal rage?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

For some women, the hormonal fluctuations that occur during perimenopause can trigger a condition called perimenopausal rage. In this video, menopause expert and Dr. Oz Show guest Marcy Holmes discusses remedies that can help you cope with hormonal swings and avoid explosive outbursts.

Marcy Holmes, MSN, NP
Nursing Specialist

The following medications can help you manage perimenopausal rage:

The birth control pill
The Pill has been used for decades to help women in their 30s and 40s have easier periods. The Pill will suppress the hormones in your body that are affecting the brain. It may help even out the rollercoaster ride and curb the highs and lows of your emotions. There are many types as well as new formulas to consider with your provider. If you didn't like the pill 20 years ago, you should know that there are many different types today—and your experience could be much different this time around.

The current data shows the birth control pill to be very safe in healthy women who don't smoke, but there are risks and benefits you have to discuss with your provider.

Antidepressants
Women in crisis may need to use this approach if they really feel they are "falling apart." Antidepressants seem to support the brain chemistry and help stabilize mood despite the hormone changes that are happening. With this support, your brain might better handle any wild hormone fluctuations that are wreaking havoc on your emotions during perimenopause, and how you might be reacting to the triggers that result in rage.

There are various types and doses of antidepressants available by prescription from medical healthcare providers and psychiatrists. In some women, these sorts of medications may be prescribed to use daily all month long, and in others, they are prescribed to use just two weeks of the month during the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) timeframe. The benefit of only taking the antidepressants part of the month may be that it minimizes unwanted side effects on sexual response or weight. All antidepressants have risks and benefits that you should review with your healthcare provider and pharmacist so you can make an informed choice.

Some types of antidepressants may work in a matter of weeks, while others may take a month or more for you to see results; you may need to adjust the dose to find the right level for you. This approach requires working closely with your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Supplements
There are so many benefits to the natural and nutritional support you get with a healthy balanced diet, and the basic foundation provided by certain key supplements that they can't be ignored. The foundational support I suggest for perimenopausal rage include:

  • High-quality multivitamin and mineral formula rich in B-complex vitamins and vitamin D
  • Omega-3 fish oil
  • Calcium and magnesium

A healthy diet, high-quality multivitamin, essential trace minerals and omega-3 fish oil all have the ability to enhance results of using an antidepressant as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.