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
- Hot flashes definition and facts
- What are hot flashes?
- How long do hot flashes last?
- What causes hot flashes?
- Signs and symptoms: What do hot flashes feel like?
- How is the cause of hot flashes diagnosed?
- What are the treatments for hot flashes?
- Hormone therapy for hot flashes
- Bioidentical hormone therapy for hot flashes
- Other prescription drug treatments for hot flashes
- What natural and home remedies treat hot flashes?
- Black cohosh for hot flashes
- Soy and other plant sources for menopause symptoms
- Other vitamins, herbs, and supplements
- Which type of doctor treats hot flashes?
- Can hot flashes be prevented?
- Find a local Endocrinologist in your town
Other prescription drug treatments for hot flashes
- The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications have been shown be effective in reducing menopausal hot flashes. These drugs are generally used in the treatment of depression and anxiety as well as other condition. Paroxetine (Brisdelle) is an SSRI approved to treat moderate to severe hot flashes associated with menopause.
- Clonidine (Catapres) is an anti-hypertensive drug that can relieve hot flashes in some women. Clonidine is taken either by pill or skin patch and decreases blood pressure. Side effects of clonidine can include dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, or difficulty sleeping.
- Gabapentin (Neurontin), a drug primarily used for the treatment of seizures, has also been effective in treating hot flashes.
- Megestrol acetate (Megace) is a progestin that is sometimes prescribed over a short-term to help relieve hot flashes, but this drug is not usually recommended as a first-line treatment for hot flashes. Serious side effects can occur if the medication is abruptly discontinued. Megestrol may have the side effect of weight gain.
- Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera) is another progestin drug and is administered by injection to treat hot flashes. It may lead to weight gain as well as bone loss.
What natural and home remedies treat hot flashes?
Some women report that exercise programs or relaxation methods have helped to control hot flashes, but controlled studies have failed to show a benefit of these practices in relieving the symptoms of hot flashes. Maintaining a cool sleep environment and the use of cotton bedclothes can help ease some of the discomfort associated with hot flashes and associated night sweats.
Many women turn to alternative therapies, including herbal products, vitamins, plant estrogens, and other substances, for the treatment of hot flashes. Doctors can be reluctant to recommend alternative treatments because these nonprescription products are not regulated by the FDA (like prescription medications), and their ingredients and strength can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For products that are not regulated by the FDA, testing and proof of safety is not required for marketing of these products. Long-term, scientifically controlled studies for these products are either lacking or have not proved the safely and effectiveness of many of the so-called natural or alternative remedies.
Some alternative treatments, however, have been evaluated in well-designed clinical trials. Alternative treatments that have been scientifically studied with some research include phytoestrogens (plant estrogens, isoflavones), black cohosh, and vitamin E.
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