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Antidepressant May Help Ease Hot Flashes

Study Shows Women Taking Lexapro Report Greater Relief From Hot Flashes Than Those on Placebo

Second Opinion

The new study findings are no surprise to Amanda Richards, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Medical School, who reviewed the study for WebMD.

She has prescribed antidepressants for hot flashes for some of her patients, including some who had cancer and went into surgical menopause after ovary removal, with generally good success, she says.

"It's not that it takes them away completely," she says of the drugs' effects on menopausal symptoms. But she finds, as did the study researchers, that the antidepressants do reduce the number and severity of the hot flashes.

A typical patient prescribed an antidepressant for hot flashes, she says, "will come back a couple weeks later thanking me, saying they can now work, they can manage their hot flashes."

There could be a decline in libido, she tells patients on antidepressants. But some will take that side effect, she says, in return for hot flash relief.

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