Last reviewed 01/2018
The value of Gamma linolenic acid in the treatment of cyclical mastalgia was believed to be more useful than in the managment of generalised premenstrual syndrome
- in the latter, some studies show it's efficacy to be comparable only to placebo but as it has few side effects
- a review concerning the use of gamma linolenic acid in the treatment of mastalgia concluded that this intervention was likely to be ineffective or harmful (1)
Evening primrose oil is generally available over the counter. It may be combined with vitamin B6 - up to 100 mg daily - or with over the counter mineral supplements containing potassium, as intracellular magnesium has been shown to be low in some PMS sufferers.
Note that in the UK the product licences for Epogam and Efamast (evening primrose oil preparations) have been withdrawn from October 7th 2002. This is because the Committee on Safety of Medicines stated that the therapeutic efficacy was unproven (2).
- Clinical Evidence (September 2006). Breast pain.
- Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance (2002), 28, 12.
- O'Brien P (1993). Helping women with premenstrual syndrome. BMJ, 307, 1471-5.