Monday, April 26, 2010
Can Antidressants Help Menopausal Night Sweats?
For many women, the hot flashes and night sweats from menopause can be quite uncomfortable. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of hot flashes include a warm feeling spreading through the upper body and face, flushing of the face and neck, as well as sweating. Women can also have a rapid heart rate, pressure in her head, and blotchy skin on her face, neck, and upper chest. After the hot flash is over, the woman may have a chilled feeling. According to the Mayo Clinic, the frequency of a hot flash varies: some women may have multiple hot flashes a day, while other women may have only a couple a week. Usually, a hot flash lasts for about 30 minutes.
According to Hartford Hospital, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which uses estrogen, can alleviate the symptoms; however, hormone replacement therapy has many side effects. However, a study done at Eastern Virginia Medical School shows that an anti-depressant called desvenlafaxine can be an effective medication for treating hot flashes and night sweats.
The randomized trial had three test groups: a placebo, desvenlafaxine 100 mg, and desvenlafaxine 150 mg. Women who took the placebo had an average of 4.9 fewer hot flashes; women who took the 100 mg of desvenlafaxine had an average of 6.3 fewer hot flashes; and women who took the 150 mg of desvenlafaxine had an average of 7.0 fewer hot flashes. However, desvenlafaxine does have some side effects: loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, and diarrhea.