Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Menopause Health Center

Font Size

Treating Hot Flashes Without Hormones

Review Shows Estrogen May Work Better Than Nonhormonal Therapies

Review's Results continued...

"These therapies may be most useful for highly symptomatic women who cannot take estrogen but are not optimal choices for most women," write Nelson and colleagues.

The researchers found no sign that red clover isoflavone extracts reduced hot flashes. The results on soy isoflavone extract studies were mixed.

As Nelson's team noted, some studies were higher in quality than others. Also, some trials included women who had had breast cancer and were taking tamoxifen; those women may not represent other menopausal women. Hot flashes are a common side effect of tamoxifen use. Those limits may make it hard to draw definite conclusions.

Second Opinion

The research review was "technically rigorous" but showed mixed results, and several of the drugs studied can have side effects, states a journal editorial.

The editorialists were Jeffrey Tice, MD, and Deborah Grady, MD, MPH, of the medicine department at the University of California, San Francisco. Grady also works at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

"Antidepressants, clonidine, and gabapentin have been marketed for a long time but large, long-term trials (similar to the Women's Health Initiative trials of hormone therapy) are lacking," write Tice and Grady.

"Safety is a particular concern for isoflavone extracts because they contain estrogenic compounds and thus may be subject to some of the same long-term adverse effects as hormone therapy," the editorialists add.

Editorialists' Advice

More research is needed to understand how hot flashes work, write Tice and Grady. Meanwhile, they offer these tips for managing hot flashes:

  • Dress in layers.
  • Keep the home and bedroom cool.
  • Know that most symptoms resolve over several months to several years.
  • Understand the risks and benefits of hormonal and nonhormonal treatments.
  • With all medicines or dietary supplements used as treatments, take the lowest effective dose and stop as soon as symptoms improve or end.
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

woman walking outdoors
How to handle headaches, night sweats, and more.
mature woman holding fan in face
Symptoms and treatments.
woman hiding face behind hands
11 ways to keep skin bright and healthy.
Is it menopause or something else?
senior couple
mature woman shopping for produce
Alcohol Disrupting Your Sleep
mature couple on boat
mature woman tugging on her loose skin
senior woman wearing green hat
estrogen gene

WebMD Special Sections