In an optimistic line for women who face monthly physical and mental symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS): The Ministry of Health has approved a new over-the-counter drug called Prefemin, which is based on a plant source and does not contain hormones.
The drug is sold in pharmacies and contains a dry extract of the medicinal plant Shrub Abraham (Vitex agnus-castus). It is a plant that has been used throughout history as a traditional and popular treatment for various gynecological problems, has been shown to be effective for premenstrual syndrome and is now offered as a natural treatment drug for a phenomenon that bothers many women.
The drug paraffin contains 20 mg of Avraham Sheikh extract, should be taken regularly once a day and is available at HMO pharmacies, pharma chains, private pharmacies and online pharmacies.
David Pepo, chairman of the Israel Pharmacists’ Association, explained: “Every day we meet women and girls in pharmacies who are looking for targeted treatment for the problem. Some even prefer a herbal preparation. “The fact that the Ministry of Health has approved a new drug is definitely encouraging for women who suffer from symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and also for us pharmacists, who can give a real answer to the callers, without the need for a doctor’s prescription.”
It should be noted that for many years the phenomenon has been recognized by international gynecological organizations as a disease with definite symptoms. It is estimated that in the days before and after menstruation, hormonal fluctuations occur that lead to changes that affect both the body and the mind.
A new survey conducted prior to the launch of the drug found that 81% of women occasionally suffer from symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and that 75% of survey participants face a range of physical and mental symptoms in the days before menstruation.
30% of the survey participants indicated that the phenomenon disturbs their daily routine to a large extent and 70% indicated that it is a partial disturbance in the continuation of the routine of life. About half of the women who suffer greatly report that they let the symptoms go away on their own, and the rest are helped by painkillers or rest.
The survey was conducted by the Roshink Institute among 589 women at the initiative of a Rafa company that markets paraffin.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by a collection of physical and mental symptoms including abdominal pain, acne breakouts, sleep disorders, anxiety, mood swings, restlessness, decreased energy, nausea or vomiting, abdominal bloating, chest congestion, increased need to cry, urge to eat Chocolate and sweets. In addition there are women who also report outbursts of anger and social avoidance for days.
There are many women who tell of a distress that disrupts the routine for several days each month, causing the feeling that these days of the month are erased or lost.
To date, most women have learned to live with the symptoms and some have taken painkillers, which have only addressed the physical symptoms like cramps and pain.
Others, get prescriptions for hormonal therapy (such as birth control pills) but these only improve some of the symptoms and are not suitable for women as they want to get pregnant, or choose not to take hormones for various reasons. In view of these treatments, there is a real need for targeted treatment of the problem among women and especially for them the new herbal drug called Prefemin is marketed by Rafa.