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Hot Flashes

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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