Antidepressants for Hot Flashes

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Low-dose antidepressant medication may lessen the frequency and severity of hot flashes by rebalancing or intercepting the chemicals in the brain that transmit the hot flash alarm, epinephrine and serotonin. Clinical trials have shown that antidepressants lead to a 50-60% reduction in hot flashes among women who use them. Examples include:

  • Effexor XR (chemical name: venlaxafine HCI
  • Lexapro (chemical name: escitalopram)
  • Paxil and Brisdelle (chemical name: paroxetine)
  • Prozac (chemical name: fluoxetine)

If you’re taking tamoxifen, then Paxil, Brisdelle, and Prozac generally aren’t recommended. These drugs can interfere with the body's ability to convert tamoxifen into its active form, preventing you from getting the full benefit of tamoxifen. For more information, please visit the Tamoxifen page.

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