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antidepressants for hot flashes?

By November 17, 2011 - 11:27am
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A handful of antidepressants are prescribed “off-label” for treatment of hot flashes. (“Off-label” means that the drug has been approved by the FDA for treating a disorder, like depression, but not the one affecting you.)

These antidepressants have proven benefits for treating mood disorders and anxiety, but most have not been subjected to the same rigorous hot flash studies as hormone products. They may reduce the flashing, but they won’t help a dry vagina, skin, or bone health.

Furthermore, if you are a breast cancer survivor on Tamoxifen or taking Tamoxifen to reduce your risk of breast cancer, you should not take Paxil (paroxetine) to treat hot flashes as this SSRI has been shown to reduce Tamoxifen levels in some women by affecting the liver metabolism.

Effexor XR has an active isomer, desvenlafaxine, that is being studied in trials for depression as well in trials of menopausal women who are not depressed but have disruptive hot flashes. And as I mentioned in a previous post, under the brand name of Pristiq, it’s likely to become the first nonhormonal medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of hot flashes.

Have you used antidepressants “off label” for hot flashes? What’s your experience?

Original post: http://www.vibrantnation.com/health-fitness/menopause/antidepressants-for-hot-flashes/

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I took Prozac 20mg daily for a year post-menopause and would recommend it. Just be careful of weight gain. I added on 20 lbs that year but was happy and able to cope. No hot flashes even in 90 degrees.

July 1, 2014 - 8:34pm

I cannot take the SSRI anti depressants at all--they make me so sick I want to die. But I do have a friend who is taking either Effexor, or Lexapro, I cannot remember, along with patches, and she says it helps her a lot. I know I have read over and over that some of the SSRI's help with hot flashes. Not me, they make me want to die---but I do indeed know other women who swear by them.

November 24, 2011 - 12:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have been on Venlafaxine, Effexor and Sertraline. They all helped my hot flashes. I'm currently taking soy, which is helping. If you try soy, make sure it's non-GMO.

November 17, 2011 - 3:29pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Vibrant Nation

Thanks for this post!

You raise important points about cross-use of prescriptions - this happens quite a lot.

I hope our readers who have used anti depressants for hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms can give their input here.



November 17, 2011 - 12:20pm
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