The second drug used at St Thomas’ is called bromocryptine. It isn’t very satisfactory as a treatment for the miseries, because although it can help some women with breast discomfort it doesn’t do much for mood swings, or have any effect on increased weight or the bloat. And the side effects can be pretty unpleasant — among others, it can make you very sick. In fact the doctors who use it recommend that ‘treatment should always be commenced with a very low dosage and this is increased only slowly to minimise the incidence of nausea and vomiting’. At St Thomas’ it seems to be used only rarely.
Like Dr Dalton, Dr Brush has written a book about the treatments he uses. It is called P.M.T., The Unrecognised Illness and is by Judy Lever, Dr Brush and Brian Haynes. It will tell you more about these drugs if you think they could be for you.
As you can see, getting medical treatment for the miseries is rather difficult and complicated, which shouldn’t surprise us, when we consider what a complicated business menstruation is anyway. Dr Dalton and the St Thomas’ team are campaigning vigorously. And if they have their way there will eventually be pre-menstrual clinics all over the place, so that anyone who needs medical help will be able to get it.
In the meantime we must see what can be achieved by helping ourselves and helping each other.