Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Treatment with estrogen (with or without progesterone) is the most effective way to relieve hot flashes. However, some other medications can have a benefit. Speak to your doctor about using any one of these medicines -- they have all been demonstrated to provide partial relief from hot flashes:
- Antidepressants -- specific medications shown to be helpful include venlafaxine (Effexor), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa)
- Gabapentin (Neurontin) -- this is an anti-seizure and pain relief medication
- Megestrol acetate (Megace) -- this is a progesterone medicine
- Clonidine -- this is a blood pressure medicine
Natural therapies for hot flashes are not very effective. Even so, it has been estimated that 50% to 75% of postmenopausal women use these treatments. Studies about these treatments have been disappointing; none of the most commonly used natural therapies for hot flashes have been shown to have a convincing benefit. These commonly used products include soy products, phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), black cohosh, red clover, isoflavones, flaxseed, ginseng, Dong quai, evening primrose oil, acupuncture, wild yam, and vitamin E.
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