Use of Antidepressants for Management of Hot Flashes

Dana G. Carroll, Pharm.D.; Kristi W. Kelley, Pharm.D.


Pharmacotherapy. 2009;29(11):1357-1374. 

In This Article

Comparison with Other Agents

Other agents have been studied for the relief of hot flashes. Certainly, hormone replacement therapy, including estrogen and combined estrogen-progestogen, were considered the gold standard treatment for hot flashes before the Women's Health Initiative.[1] Since the Women's Health Initiative, agents other than antidepressants that have been widely studied include gabapentin,[44,45,46,47] soy,[48,49,50] and black cohosh.[30] Although the outcomes measured varied in the studies, hot flash frequency and hot flash scores were commonly measured. Decreases in hot flash scores ranged from 31-85%,[30,44,45,46,47,48,49,50] which is comparable to the decreases of 37-65%[14,15,16,17,18,19,20,25,26,27] seen with venlafaxine and paroxetine. Decreases in hot flash frequency ranged from 45-74%,[44,45,46,47,48,49,50] which is comparable to 25.2-58%[14,15,16,17,18,19,20,26] seen with venlafaxine and paroxetine. Common adverse effects reported with gabapentin, soy, and black cohosh were similar to those reported with many of the antidepressants (Table 2).[14,15,16,17,18,19,20,25,26,27,30,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,52,53]


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