Alternative Treatments for Hot Flashes (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Introduction to menopause and hot flashes
- What are hot flashes?
- How are hot flashed usually treated?
- Which alternative prescription medications are effective in treating hot flash symptoms of menopause?
- Why are some doctors reluctant to recommend nonprescription therapies for menopause symptoms?
- What alternative treatments for menopause have been scientifically studied?
- Alternatives for Treating Hot Flashes At A Glance
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Alternatives for Treating Hot Flashes At A Glance
- Each woman experiences menopause differently. Treatment, if necessary, is directed toward the particular symptoms that are present.
- Hot flashes are experienced by many but not all women undergoing menopause. A hot flash is a feeling of warmth, sometimes associated with flushing, that spreads over the body and may be accompanied by perspiration.
- Often it is not simple to determine if a given symptom is due to menopause. A physician should be consulted regarding symptoms that are new or of unknown cause.
- While "natural" menopause remedies may be effective, there is a lack of research on the safety and effectiveness of many of these remedies. Side effects of prescription remedies are generally better understood than those of over-the-counter medications and "natural" treatments or remedies.
- The most effective treatment for hot flashes is estrogen. However, the risks and benefits of this therapy must be carefully considered by a woman and her physician.
- Other prescription medications, including SSRIs, may also be effective in relieving hot flashes.
- Non-prescription products that have been used to treat hot flashes include phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), black cohosh, and vitamin E. However, studies that attest to their effectiveness and long-term safety are incomplete or lacking.
Previous contributing medical author: Carolyn J. Crandall, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.P.
Last Editorial Review: 7/29/2010
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.