A 8-week, multicenter, placebo-controlled, study on 205 women found that escitalopram (an antidepressant) might be useful therapy to prevent menopausal hot flashes.
After 8 week of treatment, patients who took escitalopram have 1.41 fewer hot flashes per day than women who took placebo.
Furthermore, half (55%) of women in the escitalopram group versuus one third (36%) in the placebo group reported a decrease of at last 50% in hot flash frequency (P=0.009) at the 8-week follow-up.
Reductions in hot flash severity were significantly greater in the escitalopram group.
This study suggested that escitalopram (10-20mg/d) might be a useful nonhormonal treatment to prevent and reduce menopausal hot flashes.
Since this study involved only 200 patients and lasted only 8 weeks, bigger trials that include more patients and conduct for longer time period are required to confirm the above finding before escitalopram is widely use in managing menopausal hot flashes.
Source: JAMA 2011:305(3):267-274
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