Do Antidepressants Help With Hot Flashes in Menopause?

With women having had cancer and not being able to use Estrogen, research has been done on a variety of medications for menopausal symptoms.  Antidepressants in the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) class have been shown to be effective in decreasing hot flashes. Venlafaxine (Effexor), Paroxetine (Paxil), and Fluoxetine (Prozac) have all been tested and can be prescribed off-label for women who cannot take Estrogen.

Another medication, Clonidine (Catapres) which is used to decrease blood pressure has been shown to relieve hot flashes for some women but for others it is not effective. 

Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (Depo-Provera) has been useful to treat hot flashes but tends to cause weight gain, bone loss, and can only be given as an injection.

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is an anti-seizure drug and appears to work for the treatment of hot flashes but often causes drowsiness. 

As always, talk to your provider about your symptoms and see what is right for you.  Your provider should take a thorough history as well as confirming your symptoms are related to menopause and not some other underlying condition. Are any of my readers using any of these medications with success?  Let us know.

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