Previous studies have shown Vitex (also known as Chasteberry) extracts to be effective for irregular menstrual cycles, cyclical mastalgia and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). But dose-effect relationship for the treatment of PMS has not yet been established.
In this study, 162 female patients with PMS (18-45 years) were randomized to either placebo or different doses of Vitex extract (8, 20 and 30 mg) over three menstrual cycles. PMS symptoms’ severity was assessed by patients using visual analog scales (VAS) for the symptoms irritability, mood alteration, anger, headache, bloating and breast fullness.
Each of the treatments was well tolerated. Improvement in the total symptom score (TSS) in the 20mg group was significantly higher than in the placebo and 8 mg treatment group. The higher dose of 30 mg, on the other hand, did not significantly decrease symptom severity compared to the 20mg treatment, providing a rationale for the usage of 20mg. Corresponding results were observed with the single PMS symptom scores.
“This study demonstrated that Vitex extract was effective in relieving symptoms of PMS.”